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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lenschow

Thirsty for God

Psalm 63:1

For Lent, we now turn to longing for God.

1. Recognize the Context: Book Context:

The book of Psalms is divided into five sections. Each Psalm is a separate chapter and a self-contained literary unit. Psalm 63 is located in the second section (Psalms 42-72).

Psalms became Israel's book of worship since many were set to music, as several headings indicate. The book of Psalms enabled the people to express themselves to God. This expression came in the full range of human emotions, including praise, thanksgiving, sadness, repentance, anger, fear, hope, etc. Today, these Psalms allow Christians to honestly express themselves to God, especially as we sometimes lack the necessary words.

Literary Context:

The Psalms were classified into various literary categories. From verse 1, Psalm 63 appears to begin like a Psalm of lament. However, the tone of the remaining verses, 2-11, change to present a Psalm of confidence.

Historical Context:

The subscript presents the historical situation surrounding this Psalm. This Psalm is from David’s time in the Judean Desert. However, we are not sure exactly when this occurred in David’s life. It could refer to when David was on the run from Saul (1 Sam. 23) or from his son Absalom (2 Sam 15).

2. Read the Scripture: Psalm 63:1

You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.

3. Reflect on the Scripture:

This Psalm begins with a call out to God. As in intimate conversation, David

directly addressed God and declared how intensely he seeks him. David used a familiar human analogy of thirst (Psalm 42:1-2). His whole being longs for God's presence, like being in an arid desert with an inability to find even a hint of water to quench his thirst.

The remainder of the Psalm expresses the confidence David has in the God he serves and longs for.

Lent is a season of confession, repentance, humility, and service. It is also a season of longing, but not longing for things from God, rather longing for God.

Today, reflect more on God and your need and desire for him.

4. Relate to life:

Now it's time to get specific and respond today. Remember, it is important to be a doer of God’s Word, not merely a hearer or reader (James 1:22-25). Here are some practical ways to actively respond to God’s Word. Consider these or create other ways you can apply the message. To pray:

Today, prayerfully consider what might be hindering your desire for God. Give it to God.

To do: (work produced by faith with the Holy Spirit’s help) Given the prayer suggestions above, how do you need to respond today? Think about your attitudes, actions, and words. Think about your family, friends, church community, and co-workers. To study: (Always make sure to read the immediate context of the given passage.)

Read and Study the verses above.

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