Psalms 63:1



The Bible says in Psalms 63:1-2, “A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.”

         Early will I seek Thee. Every person from the moment they are born begins making choices, following down a path in life. There is a saying: the early bird gets the worm. There is also another saying: don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. This principle is true for anything in life. For example; an Olympic athlete does not begin their quest for the Olympics at age 25 but most do so as young children. The younger you are when you being to pursue something, the more years you have to put into the mastery of that pursuit. 

This is certainly true about following Jesus. It is better to start out following Jesus as a small child than to wait until you are old. There are many practical reasons for this. Those who wait until they are older to turn to Jesus most likely will have lived much more wicked lives than those who turn to Jesus when they are young. And sin brings suffering and destruction.

         Just think of all the years of wasted opportunity to share the gospel, just think of all the years that a person will miss out on the sweet and intimate fellowship with the Savior. Just think of all the wisdom and knowledge concerning the things of the Lord they will not learn. So much is wasted in life, so much is lost when we don’t turn to the Lord early.

         Man certainly is nothing like God is he? Unlike most men, who do not turn to Jesus when they are young, God is there from the beginning from the moment of conception when life beings. Jeremiah1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.”

         From the very beginning of our lives God is there already working in our lives to turn us to Him.  We see how patient God is in working in the lives of adults who are older and often more stubborn and hard hearted, so God is certainly going to be there for the lives of little children who are still so tenderhearted and innocent.

         Jesus gave a parable of the kingdom of heaven in the Gospel of Matthew 20:1-16 which says, “1  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12  Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”

In this parable we see that the householder goes out early in the morning and then hour after hour after hour again and again and again. And God is like this. He comes to us early in our lives when we are young and tender and though we turn away He comes to us again year after year after year.

Of course the other important lesson that we learn from this parable of Jesus is that it is never too late to start serving Jesus. God is a very gracious God and He can restore that which has been lost and wasted. Joel 2:21-26, “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

He will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. Even if you have wasted many years turning from the LORD the LORD can restore those years. There is plenty of opportunity to serve God and to earn rewards in heaven. Do not fret, do no fear, do not discourage yourself because of the past but realize that God is in the business of forgiveness and restoration.

         Now notice the phrase in Psalms 63:1,  early will I seek.” This is actually one word in the Hebrew and it has the idea to seek with diligence. Every day is a new day. And the Christian life must be lived one day at a time. Even if you have wasted your youth turning away from the truth you can begin tomorrow by seeking the Lord early.

         In talking about seeking the LORD early two very descriptive phrases are used in Psalms 63:1, “my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”

         When we think of an image of strong desires consuming a man what usually comes to mind? Sexual desire, the desire for money and power, the desire to be accepted and liked by other people, the desire for the pleasures of this world.

         Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” To say that your soul thirsteth and that your flesh longeth means more than just a casual desire it means that serving God and studying His word is more than just a hobby but rather something that consumes you. It means your desire for Jesus is stronger than any other desire; stronger than the bonds you may have with family, stronger than your most intimate hopes and dreams for this life.

The Bible says in Psalms 63:1-2, “A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek thee: to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.”      What king David desired to see was the power and the glory of God as he had seen it in the sanctuary. The sanctuary was the place in the Old Testament where God gave a manifestation of His presence. Too see God in the sanctuary would have been much like Moses at the burning bush or John in Revelation when He had a vision of the Son of God. Such an experience would have a lasting effect on a person. How beautiful it must be, how fearsome. 

Of course we all experience the power and the glory of God when Jesus first comes into the sanctuary of our hearts at the moment of salvation. Anyone who has been saved can surely look back unto that time of their life and remember how their eyes were opened and light was shined into their soul. They can remember how they were washed of their sins, freed from the fear of hell, and given an everlasting joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.

         A person who desires to see the power and the glory of God is a person who desires for God to do great things in their life, to lay His holy hand upon them and pass them by. Jesus said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” Moses desired to see the glory of God and God passed him by and he beheld his backside. Peter desired to die a death worthy of the gospel and he was crucified. Paul desired to do a great gospel work especially for those of the children of Israel and he did. God used Paul greatly, in fact most of the early Christians were Jewish. It is just as Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

         If you truly desire to see the power and the glory of God then do your part in God’s gospel work in this world. There is no greater evidence of the power and glory of God than when a sinner, hard hearted and enslaved to their sins, kneels at the blood stained cross of Calvary and is redeemed.

         Psalms 63:3-5, “Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips. When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches.”

         The word lovingkindness is a very interesting word. The word is commonly translated as mercy in the Old Testament. The transliteration of the word from Hebrew to English is Kesed which almost sounds like the word kissed. Think of a Parent gently kissing their child on the cheek.

         Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

         How is the lovingkindness of God better than life? Life has many wonderful things in it. It is just wonderful to be alive, to breathe, to have the freedom and opportunity that being alive gives to be able to laugh and cry and love. Life can be very wonderful so how is the lovingkindness of God better than life?

         This question is very easy to answer when we consider how temporary this life is. Everyone dies and everything fades away. However the things that God does are eternal.

         Hosea 2:19, And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.”

         With lovingkindness God draws us to Him. And with lovingkindness God will lead us through eternity. One can only imagine and fantasize about the wonderful things that God is going to do for His children in the future. With the same great toil and tender care that brings us to salvation and keeps us following the Savior, God is going to bless and bless and bless His children throughout eternity. Yes we are told some of the things that God is going to do for us in the future but eternity is a very long time therefore we can only imagine what God has in store for us. Yes the future is bright for the child of God and there are only great and wonderful things, things not yet revealed, which God has planned for us. “Thy lovingkindness is better than life.”

         Psalms 63:7-8, “Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me.”

         The phrase, “the shadow of Thy wings” is found 4 times in the book of Psalms.  Jesus used a similar phrase in the Gospels. Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

If you are in the shadow of a creature’s wings then you are very near that creature. And that is the idea here, the idea of being very close to God. Just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings to keep them protected God gathers His children close. Of course a relationship with God is a two way street. That means even though God wants to be close to you and is putting forth the effort to do so, it also depends on you to put forth effort to be close to Him that is why part of Psalms 63:8 says, “My soul followeth hard after Thee.”

You will be as close to God as you want to be, as your faith allows you to be. It really depends on you and the effort and time you put into learning God’s Word, and the time you spend praying to Jesus because Jesus has no limits in regards to how close of a relationship He wants with you. It is all based on His grace. If you do like the Psalmist said and your soul followeth hard after God and your flesh longeth for Him as in a dry thirsty land God will give you the opportunities to learn His truth, to understand and know Him and to walk through this life under the shadow of His wings.

After all Jesus loves you with an eternal, everlasting love, a love that is deeper than the deepest sea. It certainly is His desire to make His presence known unto you and for you to find peace and confidence in His promises. It is His desire to gather you and keep you close to Him in the shadow of His wings.

         Psalms 63:9-11, “But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

         Despite the fact that a person might desire to do what is right and to have a close relationship with God there will be those who will want to destroy that person especially to destroy them for their very desire to have a relationship with God and to do what is right. Yes there are people that are that evil in the world. They will actively seek after your soul to destroy it. They will plot and scheme and do whatever the can to tempt you into sin, to lead you astray from the truth, to weaken your faith in God.

         But these verses make it very clear what the end result for those kinds of people is, and it is not a good end. They shall, “go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.” In other words God will judge them. God will punish them. Their lives will not meet a peaceful end. After all God loves His children. And He will avenge them.

         Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to start seeking after God. If you have never turned from your sins to Jesus you can do so today and receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.


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