When David was in the desert, it was a barren
and desolate place. Here in this place,
David could not enjoy the comforts of home.
Not only that, he had to run from his enemies while exposed and was not
protected by the fortified walls of his strongholds. This would have been enough to make David
very nervous. Interestingly enough,
however, David doesn’t lament the obvious.
He laments being away from the sanctuary of the Lord. He missed being with the worshiping
community. He writes:
1 You, God, are my
God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for
in a dry and parched land where there is
2 I have seen you
in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love
is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you
as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully
satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise
6 On my bed I
remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are
my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9 Those who want to
kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the
10 They will be
given over to the sword and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will
rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be
So many times we Westerners tend to think of
Christianity as an individual exercise.
I’ve heard it taken to the extent of “Christians” saying, “religion is a
private matter.” What?!? That’s not what the Bible ever declares. Yes, there are parts of Christianity that are
more private than others but we were never called to walk this path with just
us and the Lord. We are called to
fellowship with one another.
You ever seen a fireplace? I mean: a real one—not the gas ones we enjoy
on the west coast, but a real,
honest-to-goodness-go-chop-wood-and-burn-it-fireplace? If not, have you ever seen a grill…a real
one—one that burns charcoal? J Assuming you have, what happens if you pull
one of those logs or one of those red-hot coals away from the rest? Does it stay red-hot? What happens?
Knowing that it cools, why do we expect our
lives to be any different? When we pull
away from the fire (the Lord), why are we surprised at our growing
coldness? David could speak of
protection of the Lord because His heart was in tune with the Lord. It was because David clung to the Lord that
He knew the Lord would uphold him (verse 8).
David’s desert declaration was I will seek
You, thirst for You, glorify You, praise You, sing to You, and rejoice in You.
Have you made your desert declaration? Have you vowed to seek God. Moreover, do you long to worship Him in the
context of the community of faith? David
knew the power of worshiping in concert with others. May we declare our intention to thirst for
the Lord with our whole being…even in the desert.