Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:3 ESV)
If you live in Nebraska during the summers and spend any amount of time outside, you will surely become thirsty. If you don’t seek out a drink to quench your thirst, the result can be detrimental to your health. But it is important to point out that what you drink matters. For instance, if you tried to drink sand, it wouldn’t satisfy your thirst at all. It would actually accentuate the problem you feel. If you drank a glass of milk, your thirst might be subsided momentarily, but it would actually dehydrate you further. The solution to our physical thirst is to drink something that will actually work to hydrate you, such as water or gatorade. The truth is that our physical thirst is a shadow of our deep spiritual thirst that needs to be quenched. In Ecclesiastes 3:11, Solomon writes that God has placed eternity into the heart of man. In other words, God has created you with an ingrained thirst for Him. Sadly, we often at times try to quench that thirst with things that only leave us more thirsty. So what is the answer?
In Psalm 63 we observe the plea of David for the presence of God. The psalm comes in three stages which can be labeled as thirst, fulfillment, and deliverance. In verse 1, David describes his thirst for God. We get the picture that God is like the rare commodity of water in a desert which David longs and thirsts for. David has an understanding that in the “wilderness” times of life, his soul needs to drink from the eternal well that never runs dry. David finds his fulfillment as he looks upon God and sees His power and glory (v 2). These two characteristics of God reassure David of God’s sovereign control, His matchless beauty, and unfading love which does not shift regardless of life circumstance. They are like a cold glass of water in the desert place! David responds in doxology by saying, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you” (v. 3). Seeing God and beholding His glory and power builds in David a trust of deliverance knowing that ultimately all things will be made right.
For the Christian today, we can drink of the Jesus who is the living water in times of wilderness because on the cross Jesus thirsted and shed His blood for us. By the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us, we too can behold God’s power and glory found in the person and work of our Lord Jesus. From “his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” and in Jesus we have seen the glory of God. (Jn 1:14, 16).
Written by Pastor Rick Bartek