Summary: Exposition of Ps 63
Text: Psalm 63:1-11, Title: Secrets of a Hungry Heart, Date/Place: LSCC, 10/16/05, PM
A. Opening illustration: “To have found Him and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too easily satisfied religionist, but justified in the happy experience by the children of the burning heart.” A. W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God.
B. Background to passage: This psalm is oddly dropped in a set of psalms 61-64 that deal with confidence in God. But here we have some of the most beautifully poetic words about the relationship that David had with God. This psalm was written while David was in the desert exiled from Jerusalem after the beginning of the coup from his son, Absalom. While there he spends time in prayer to the Lord whom he misses dearly.
C. Main thought: In this psalm we get a glimpse at the hunger for God that David had
A. Hungry Hearts Long for Jesus (v. 1-2)
1. Notice the language that David chooses for his prayer—“seek earnestly…thirst…longs.” These words show the passion that David has for God, and how that being away from Jerusalem and Shiloh and the presence of God was crushing Him. That final word means to faint with longing. David knew what it was like to be in the presence of God, and never wanted to be apart.
2. Psa 42:1, 143:6, Mark 12:30,
3. Illustration: Tozer spoke of ministers who “satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest Presence (of God), nor anything unusual about their personal lives,” Erika being so thirsty that she drank 4 glasses of tea at home.
4. Those with hungry hearts have a burning desire to be in the presence of God. Church, work, or home without His presence will not do. How often are we satisfied to come to church, but never feel His presence? If we miss our time with Him, do we feel it? If we have it, but He doesn’t show up, do we notice? Do we hunger and thirst in body and soul for the things of God and His kingdom? To create this longing we must see more of Him in all His glory, and cultivate our relationship with Him.
B. Hungry Hearts are Satisfied with Jesus (v. 3-5)
1. David is being sought after by his own son to be overthrown and killed. He is on the backside of the desert, in a cave with Jesus. And he says that the love (chesed: loving-kindness, covenant love, steadfast love, mercy) of God is better than life itself. Later he states that his soul will be satisfied (filled full with more than enough) with God alone.
2. Job 13:15, Heb 10:34, 11:35-40,
3. Illustration: the story of the lobsterman who cut off his arm to preserve life, the rock climber who cut off arm to preserve life, the story of Jaws where at the end the boat sinks, but they are floating on a piece of wood, swimming back to shore satisfied because they killed the shark, Erika and I were very pleased with the meal they prepared for us, C. S. Lewis said that “it is not that we are too hard to please, but we are too easily pleased.”
4. We must be satisfied with Jesus. Content with salvation and a personal relationship with the God of the entire universe. Those that drink of the depths of the living water that Jesus gives will never thirst again. If you are not satisfied with Him, you don’t know Him in His fullness. Do you count your God better than your own life? Would you be willing to sacrifice it for Him? Is God the one who meets your needs?
C. Hungry Hearts Overflow with Praise (v. 3-5)
1. David praises God in the midst of trials with his lips, hands, mouth, heart, memory, and intellect. There are three different words for praise here, and several synonyms of joy. David’s heart is hungry for God, but He is ever grateful of what God has already done, and who He is.
2. Psalm 34:1, 1 Thess 5:16, Phil 4:4,
3. Illustration: Children teach us much about praise: Mackenzie when Bambi comes on, Ronnie always answers his phones with “Praise the Lord,” even on the voicemail,
4. Do you praise God during trials? Sometimes we don’t praise Him because we take Him for granted. Sometimes its because we don’t realize who He is, or what He has done. Sometimes it is because we are so self-centered and focused on circumstances that we are sidetracked. You should be praising him. all the time, regardless of circumstances or outcomes.
D. Hungry Hearts Meditate on Jesus (v. 6)
1. David says that in the loneliest part of the night, his mind recalls the person of God and all its glory. Then he says that I can’t get back to sleep, so I think about (ponder) You. This word was used 12X in the OT to describe the process of consciously selecting thought patterns that involve God. It is a conscious thought with unconscious results.