Summary: An expositional message on the faithfulness of God and the primacy of praise.
The Rev’d Quintin Morrow
Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Fort Worth, Texas
“The Song That Satisfies the Soul”
August 11, 2002
The Text: Psalm 63
The Text Summary:
In the midst of great trouble the Psalmist remembers God’s consistent protection in the past, praises Him for His anticipated provision now, and renews his own trust in His loving providence for the future.
The Text Outline: (The Coverdale Psalter)
I. The believer finds his help and satisfaction in God (vv.1-2).
a. The believer seeks God earnestly.
b. The believer seeks God entirely.
II. The believer praises the provision, protection, power, and providence of God (vv.3-8).
a. This praise involves remembering and retelling God’s mighty acts of redemption in the past (“Because thou hast been my helper; therefore under the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice” v.8).
b. This praise involves realizing God’s mighty acts of redemption now (“As long as I live I will magnify thee…and lift up my hands in thy name” v.5).
c. This praise anticipates God’s mighty acts of redemption for the future (“My soul shall be satisfied…when my mouth praiseth thee with joyful lips” v. 6).
III. The believer exercises trust in the future faithfulness of the Lord (vv. 9-12).
a. The believer relies upon God (“My soul hangeth upon thee” v. 9).
b. The believer receives rescue from God (“These also that seek the hurt of my soul, they shall go under the earth” v. 10).
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee.
My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth after thee,
in a barren and dry land where no water is
(Ps. 63:1-2, Coverdale Psalter).
It seems there was a certain man stranded and lost in the desert of Death Valley. He was crawling across the burning sand, dying of thirst, when he happened upon a necktie salesman. “Can I interest you, sir, in a nice, new, hand-dyed silk necktie?” the salesman queried. “Have you lost your mind?” the man gasped. “I am dying of thirst and you want to sell me a necktie?!” The salesman shrugged his shoulders and went on his way, while thirsty man resumed his crawling. Finally, after hours of crawling in the desert sand the man came upon an unbelievable sight. There, in the middle of the desert, was a huge restaurant with flashing neon lights and a parking lot filled with cars. The desperate man mustered the energy and crawled to the restaurant’s front door. He whispered to the restaurant’s doorman, “Please, help me in. I am dying of thirst and must have something to drink.” The doorman replied with a disapproving frown, “I am sorry, sir, gentlemen are not admitted to this restaurant without a necktie.”
Thirsting and longing for God. How many of us here this morning could admit honestly to a thirst and a longing for God? Not many of us, probably. That isn’t to say that we don’t long for something; we do. It is rather to only admit that for most of us the object of our longing isn’t God.
In his helpful commentary on the psalms, the late James Montgomery Boice says that in every Christian worship service there are present three types of people. The first are those who are Christian in name only. Like the curious who followed Jesus everywhere during His earthly ministry, these folks appear to be disciples of the Lord but only hang around as long as the signs and wonders and free food hold out. The second types of people present, according to Boice, are those who follow the Lord Jesus, but follow at a distance. Like St. Peter at Jesus’ arrest in the garden, they are followers, but they don’t want to risk anything or be discovered by others to be followers. And the third types of people present in Christian worship are those who come wanting God. These be they who follow Christ—not for the sake of the benefits, nor fearful of the cost, but simply because they know that only God can satisfy the deepest yearnings of the human soul.