The Song of Longing
O God, you are my God; earnestly 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; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon 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 will sing for joy. Psalms 63,1-7 (ESV)
David composed this song while he was in the wilderness of Judah.
Desert: memories are awakened of the wonderful services in the temple. The desert landscape becomes a parable for the state of his life.
The longing and a picture of thirst bear witness that there is not only a thirst for life and knowledge among people – the thirst for power, happiness, love and honor – but a thirst for the living God.
His prayer is written personally: „My God“ His longing is aimed entirely at communion with God himself. It’s you I’m looking for, yourself! I need your closeness, your attention, your love, I want to have fellowship with you.
Not only the soul, but also the body, that is, the whole person is involved in this longing for God. As the land thirsts for refreshing rain, so David thirsts for God.
This is not about the modest dose of pious edification. This is about a picture of the hungry land. It is his belief that without fellowship with God, man withers and withers.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. Psalms 24,7 (ESV)
Be on the lookout, look around, desire and expect!
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalms 8,1 (ESV)
Your name is great and glorious! Heaven and earth are signs of your power, which can be seen in many events in God’s word. David is aware that the goodness and love of God is the highest and most important of all goods.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
Psalms 63,3 (ESV)
In the Old Testament, the gift of life, including all earthly goods: the blessing of children, possessions, etc., is valued highly! This becomes understandable when one considers what the Psalmist means by grace, living and personal communion with God.
The goodness of God makes man happy from within, so that he no longer has to revolve around himself, but can raise his hands, praise and glorify God all his life.
Here the psalmist stands before us as a refreshing one, freed to the praise of God, who was allowed to quench his thirst at the living spring. Not only during the day, but into the brooding night, he dwelled on God, and reached out to him with great longing. The psalmist confesses joyfully and gratefully: You are my help!
What is this help? The external situation did not change immediately. What mattered to him was that he was safe under the protection of God.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalms 63,8 (ESV)
The delicate ring these words have is the language of love. Love connects and love gives strength. Courage, responsibility and joy then grow from this dependence on God.
As David himself clings to God with all his soul, So the right hand of God clings to his outstretched hand. According to Psalm 73:23
The song of longing shows us the way to come into relationship with God. David’s experiences can become ours too.
Song: Lord, you my God, I’m looking for you, I’m looking for you, Lord, you my God, my soul, it longs for you. That’s why I’m looking for you to see your power and glory. Because your kindness is better than life, so I praise you with all my might. I want to honor and love you as long as I live. My soul longs for you, O Lord. My soul longs for you, O Lord.
Song: Kay Waechter:
Author: Edith Waechter