Earnestness of Soul After God

Psalm 42;Psalm 63;Psalm 132  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Psa. 42 To the chief musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually Say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his Loving -kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer untoa the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me: while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psa. 63 A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, My flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
God wants every thought and desire of our hearts. That is the effect of His coming down to us, and is very blessed. There is another thing, and even a better, that is, His lifting us up to Him where He is. When God meets our thoughts, wants, and feelings, it is His answering according to the measure of our need; in the other He surpasses all the desires of our hearts and minds. See it in Psa. 132, when certain blessings are asked, and each desire is surpassed. See the request in ver. 8. and the answer to it in vs. 14, 15; again in ver. 9 is the request, the answer to which is in ver. 16; and thirdly in ver. 10, the request is presented, the answer to which, in vs. 17, 18, goes far beyond.
There is trial of faith: He suffers His people to hunger, &c., that they may know the value of being fed by Him as He will.
" In the desert God will teach thee What the God that thou hast found; Patient, gracious, powerful, holy, All His grace shall there abound!"
There is personal relationship between the-saint and God-" mine and thine," in John 17, which connects itself with what He is for us.
To Abram God said (Gen. 15), "I am thy shield," because he wanted protection, " thy exceeding great reward." It did not go beyond Abram's want-he wished an heir. This is different from his delighting in God. What God is bringing us to is to delight in Himself. See Abraham in Gen. 17:1717Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? (Genesis 17:17): "I am the Almighty God." This is quite another thing. It was God's revelation of Himself to Abraham. True, all kinds of blessing are connected with it; but it is a higher thing, because it revealed God, and led him up to communion with Him, while the other threw him back on his own need and wishes.
It is a different thing to have the joy of the relationship, and to have the fruits of it. " Oh my God, early will I seek thee?' There is activity of soul thus seeking God. The soul athirst for God seeks-there is diligence in seeking God for Himself-the mouth is open for everything. The Psalm does not speak of seeking for water; when a man is thirsty, he seeks for water; but here it is more thirsting for Him who gives the water.
The conscious relationship was founded: " O God, thou art my God." The more he enjoyed God, the more it was felt to be a dry and thirsty land-not dry because of the weariness of the way. What does it matter, the dry and thirsty land, if I have the living water in my soul? I do not think about the dryness then. It is not being at home yet either. It is the wilderness in Rom. 8 If I know that I am to be in the same glory with Christ, what will affect me here? What! people going to be with the Lord in glory; and yet the slightest thing can upset me now! I feel the wretchedness, because I have got the glory-I am not acquiring it, but seeking it because I have it. Think of a person who had seen heaven -knowing all the blessedness of it—going through such a world as this! That is what it was to Christ. What made Him feel it was the joy. " Because thy loving-kindness is better than life," this world is a wilderness.
" Thy loving-kindness is better than life;" but it brings death upon one. No matter. " In everything give thanks." What! in sorrow? Yes, to be sure, we have the key to the joy in having Himself. " Thy loving-kindness is better than life; therefore will I praise thee while I live." " My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness." What! in the desert? Yes, that is the very place, because God Himself is his portion. " My mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips." Now we often praise, when we are not very joyful (there is a certain pressure on the heart), and it is right to do it at all times; but here the heart is so full of the blessing that it is pressed out of him. We learn from Psa. 42, that " the health (' help ') of my countenance " is the effect of " the help (' health ') of His countenance." The heart is lifted up above the sorrow because occupied with God Himself.
In Psa. 63, the soul is in the state in which Psa. 42, ends. It is not an oppressed heart looking out for what would make him joyful, but rejoicing because the spring is there: " Therefore will I bless thee while I live."
There is help in God (see verse 7) for the difficulties of the way. It is not here the enjoyment of God Himself, but His protection. Do I look forward to my life to come? I defy any one to know anything but that His window is open. God, then, is the only certain thing. I have no certainty that there will be a to-morrow, but there is God. Because the heart is in heaven, we can rejoice in the thing itself we have got for all times. " Jehovah is my Shepherd: I shall not want." It is not, He has put me in certain circumstances, and I shall be happy there; but it is something to depend on, to know He is my Shepherd. Then there is earnestness of purpose in following after (verse 8). So Paul: " I press towards the mark," following hard after Him in a " dry and thirsty land." Paul in prison was pressing on toward Christ, and rejoicing in the Lord; he had nothing else to rejoice in. In nothing should we be terrified by adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition (vs. 9, 10); as on the other hand Christ and they that are His alone shall be exalted forever. (ver. 11.)