The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah
Psalm 63 is written by David at a time when he was driven into the wilderness of Judah. This is the same place David had been driven on several occasions to seek refuge from Saul. Due to David referring to himself as the "king" at Psalm 63:11 the time cannot be during the days of Saul. Later in David's life he has been driven to the wilderness but for what reason? Some may believe that the king has gone into the solitude of the wilderness to pray and meditate toward God due to enemies seeking his life. It was this same wilderness that Jesus was led to be tempted of the Devil (Matthew 4:1). The most probable cause of David being in the wilderness as a king was that his son, Absalom, had rebelled against his father and sought to usurp the throne. There are several Psalms that deal with this most trying time of David's life (see Psalm 3, 4, 5, 6, 42, 43, 46, 55, 61 and possibly 62) (see introduction to Psalm 3 for details).
Once again we see the value of having a relationship with God. The Lord is the creator of time, heaven, earth, and all things therein. To have such a one as a friend and ally is to have the ultimate comfort. David sees God as his master and it is as though the king looks to the Lord with starry eyes of love and devotion. David seeks God in every aspect of his life as should all of us today (Psalm 63:1 and Matthew 5:6).
David has looked upon the glory of Jehovah God in the sanctuary as we should all see the glory of God in creation (Psalm 63:2 and Romans 1:22). The king of Israel valued the love of God greater than his own life as we ought to all do (Psalm 63:3; John 15:13 and Philippians 1:20-23). David valued his friendship and dependence of God's protection and care (Psalm 63:8 compared to Psalm 21:9-10 and 25:14). Abraham too was a friend of God in that he depended, loved, cherished, and often communicated with God in prayer (see James 2:23). We often sing the song, "No, Not One" in relationship to our friendship with Jesus (Hymns for Worship page 229). Solomon wrote, " There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). God is friend and Lord to all those who obey his commandments (John 14:15).
Perhaps the greatest lesson learned from Psalm 63 is to be found in the life of Absalom. One can scarcely think of the pain that a father would suffer as he witnessed and felt the hatred of his own son. Absalom was David's son that sought to take the kingdom away from his father by force. Interestingly, Jesus said, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and men of violence take it by force" (Matthew 11:12). Absalom sought to take by violence that which God had divinely ordained. David was the king of Israel. God had ordained the son of Jesse and no other at that time (Psalm 63:11). Absalom was not fighting against David but rather God's divine order. All those today who seek to take the kingdom of God by force will fail. Daniel said that God's kingdom will go on for ever and ever (Daniel 2:4445). Those who seek to change God's plan of salvation for their own formulas fail. Those who have different religious beliefs than revealed in divine revelation shall eternally fail. Those who are factious in the church, preach erring doctrines, or promote their preconceived religious ideas will fail. Though there may be success on a small or great scale there will be no triumph for the wicked (Psalm 63:11).
John C Robertson