O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:1-8)
Imagery of food/nourishment/sustenance: “thirsts,” “flesh faints,” “rich feast”
Also repetition of body and physical images – hands, lips, wings
The ascription here is that David was in the wilderness when he wrote these words
These words bring to mind Jesus’ temptation where he answers Satan ““It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
David is in the wilderness and so sets up the longing for food, for shelter (the wings of God in vs. 7). So much of our longing is for things and for things of the world… desires meant to teach us to long for something higher, something more satisfying.
How many of our prayers ask for things that the world can give us – rather than praying to experience God? My own longings are far too often for something other than God: recognition, acceptance, influence, yes sometimes money too.
But oh to thirst for God! And to realize as David sings here that these other things may never come – but longing for the best and the highest, the Most High, is a longing that every one can have satisfied!
Satisfy me today, Most High, with Yourself. Come and feed me, come and satisfy my thirst. May I long even more for that which is better than life and more abundant than all life offers. Amen.