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Friday, April 15, 2016

PSALM 63
 
 


"O God, Thou art my God;
I shall seek Thee earnestly (early);
My soul thirsts for Thee,
my flesh yearns for Thee;
In a dry and weary land
where there is no water."
(verse 1 in contrast to the following...)

 
"Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary,
To see Thy power and Thy glory.
Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise Thee.
So, I will bless Thee as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips."
(verses 2-5)

 
Same person with two different approaches to life.
 
It was probably written by David when he said to the king of Moab, "My father and mother fled to thee from the face of Saul; and I also take refuge with thee."   It was probably when David had to flee from Achish in the wilderness of Ziph (when they told Saul where he was hiding.)

 
The old Psalter(a very early translation in Ireland (?) from the Latin of Scripture) takes the first part of verse one, "I shall seek Thee earnestly (early)  "God of all, thurgh myght; thu (Thee)is my God, thurgh lufe (love) and devotion; speciali till the I wak.  Fra light, that is fra the tym that the light of grace be in me, that excites fra night of sine (sin)--And makes me wak (wake) till the in delite of luf and sweetness in saul (soul).  Thai wak till God, that setes all thar thought on God, that settis their hert on ani creatur.--I wak till the, and that gars me thirst in saule and body."  Did you read it with a Scottish burr? "From the time that the light of grace be in me...Wake till in delight of love and sweetness in soul."  We have always said that God's holiness people have sweetness of the soul.  It's nice to see it used here.


Matthew Henry says "As the sweetest of Paul's epistles were those that bore date out of a prison, so some of the sweetest of David's psalms were those that were penned, as this was, in a wilderness.
1.  His desire towards God (verse 1-2)
2.  His esteem of God (verses 3-4)
3.  His satisfaction in God (verse 5)
4.  His secret communion with god (verse 6)
5.  His joyful dependence upon God, (verses 7-8)
6.  His holy triumph in God over his enemies and in the assurance of his own safety."


It makes me think, where did Moses see a burning bush?  In the wilderness.  Where did Moses see God face to face? Out in the wilderness so that the people begged him to veil his face because of the glory.  It is not out of place for David to long for such a meeting with God as if in His sanctuary.  David didn't express yearning to be restored to the privileges and perks and pleasures of being in the palace, but the sanctuary; not being back with family and friends, but in God's presence. 




As I have been pouring over family history, it astounds me, especially in the Scotch-Irish Migration (to the Carolinas, then to Tennessee and on to Georgia where land was given over to the "Land-Grabbers," sometimes as rewards in the Revolutionary War)-- many of whom not only had escaped by ship from persecution in the British Isles, but were willing to go into the wilderness and begin a new life facing grave danger.  My great-great-great-great grandparents died from an Indian attack there.  The missionaries and preachers were on their heels not far behind, even Francis Asbury who was John Wesley's appointee in America.  I will be relating some of their adventures in the NE tip of Tennessee, in the Watauga Sycamore Shoals area, where they had no government until they wrote their own constitution prior to the one our Founding Fathers wrote.  I have found relatives from different branches of the tree who crossed paths in this wilderness experience.  It is so inspiring that I'm beginning to feel the urge to become adventurous too, that I think I might ride a horse while I'm there, if my man can give me a push up into the saddle that is. 


I hope this description of David's wilderness experience that turned into praise will be a push-back-up-in-the-saddle of praise for you encouraging you to let loose your lips of joyful praise to say, "Yee-haw, Yahweh!"  (Stephen Curtis' song, "Saddle Up Your Horses," is along this line, so I'm not completely crazy.)  Let go of those reigns and lift up your hands in praise and surrender.  ("I will lift up my hands in Thy name.")  And a good ol' southern barbeque is coming with juicy fat on them rib bones. ("My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness.")  Have a nice soul-satisfying adventure. ("My soul is satisfied.") The thwang is (That's Nashville talk), we haven't arrived yet.  We are only on our way.  Like this trip we are planning, we are getting lots of fun out of just the thought of heading into the unknown, to the wild blue yonder.  So I pray as David did, "as long as I live, I will bless Thee."  Better hurry up and bless God before you hit the grave.  We don't know how many wilderness adventures we have left in us.  How about you?


 


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