“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts 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.”
There is a lot about David that frustrates reading 1 & 2 Samuel. On the other hand, there is much I admire about David reading the Psalms. The narrative tells the story, and David’s story is not clean cut. The Psalms, however, expose his heart, his inner emotions and attitudes, his heart after God.
This particular Psalm he penned while in the wilderness of Judah. Why would a king be in the wilderness? In this particular case, it was because his own son sought his life and throne. He was in exile from the kingdom God had promised to him because his own flesh and blood had usurped his power. I can’t imagine many lower points in life than that, yet David proclaimed, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
I do respect David, and people like him, who are able to have grateful hearts towards the Lord in any circumstance. From the mountain top or the valley or anywhere in between, these people, who truly have a heart after God, have fixed their eyes on the things above, not on the things of the earth. Not to ignore the matters of life on earth, but adversity will shipwreck our life of faith if we set our eyes on our problems rather than lifting them up unto the hills from whence cometh our help.
David says, “…earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you.” We have earnestly sought relief from trials we endure or stressful relationships we have or shattered dreams that have faded. We have thirst for success and influence and knowledge and acceptance. The satisfaction from all of these things will fade and fade fast.
Let us be a people who eat the bread of life so we never hunger again. Let us be a people who drink of the rivers of living waters so we never thirst again. Let us interact with God as though He is as big and powerful and mighty and able as we say we believe He is. Then, whether rain or shine, whether we are blessed beyond measure or are unjustly treated, our lips will praise Him because His love is better than life.