Psalm 63 today. Its background has one of two options. Either David was running away from King Saul in his early years, right after Samuel anointed David King. Saul was jealous and wanted David dead. Or it was written in David’s later years, during Absalom’s rebellion, when his son wanted the kingship and pursued David to kill him. In either case, David is in a wilderness place, his heart broken that lies had been spread about him and people unjustly wanted him dead. Here is how he responded to this life crisis. Indeed, today’s message is this one: WHAT DO I DO WHEN MY SOUL IS DRY AND DEAD? -Vss 1,2: In looking at the parched wilderness around him, David realized that’s how his soul felt: parched and dry. He knew the only way the land could be brought to life was by water. The only way his parched soul could be brought to life was by God. Here is the beginning place for prayer. Is your soul parched and dry? Then only God can satisfy it. A satisfied soul with the world’s allurements cannot be satisfied by God. Key question: Does your soul long for God and God alone to meet its needs? Do you long for God more than you long for water?
-Vss 3,4: David cries out (another term for prayer) that God’s unfailing love is better than life itself. Do you believe this? Is there anything else in life that satisfies you more than God? “How I praise you,” David continued. Praise to God is God’s water to our parched souls. Do you love to worship and praise God? He was even willing to raise his hands to God, the universal sign of surrender! Is everything in your life surrendered to God?
-Vs 5: God satisfies David’s soul more than the richest food! Do you long for God more than food? “I will praise you with songs of joy,” David said. Worship, praise, singing all brought life to David’s parched soul.
-Vss 6,7: When he couldn’t sleep, David contemplated God. When you can’t sleep, do you go watch TV? Try to read a book? Or contemplate on the greatness of God? He thinks over and over again how God had come to his rescue in times of need. Do you do this? Then he burst into praise again!
-Vs 8: David is committed to following “close behind the Lord.” Does your parched soul desire obedience to God at all costs?
-Vs 9,10: What does he do with those who want to kill him? He believes God will protect him. He believes God will deal with them. He believes that as they live by the sword, they will die by the sword (which is ironically exactly what happened with both Saul and Absalom...they both died in battle). If others are persecuting you, you must believe God will deal with them, some time, either in this life or the next, for their evil. That’s what David did. He wouldn’t let anything make his soul more parched!
-Vs 11: He makes a faith declaration. The liars spreading lies about him will be silenced. He chooses in his parched place to praise God, to rejoice in the God of his salvation. Notice how often in this psalm David chooses to worship, praise, pray to the God who alone can nurture and give life to a parched soul.
Jesus said, in Matthew 5, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Does your soul REALLY hunger and thirst for God. Do you feel so parched inside you know only God can satisfy these deep longings of the heart. Then you will experience the satisfaction of God’s life in you. There’s no shortcut. This can only happen when you are really parched of soul. But how great is God’s satisfaction.
Therefore, today, give thanks for the parched places in your heart. You are now ready to experience the greatness of our God!