Summary: Do you ever feel physically or emotionally alone? David knew very well how that felt. Fortunately for us, he wrote down both his feelings and his vision of what to do in these very difficult times.
We don’t really know the occasion for Psalm 63. It could have been written when David was running from Saul, or from his son, Absalom. This psalm is really about who you turn to when it seems like there is nothing in your environment that brings comfort or rest.
1 – 2
David was in the wilderness of Judah with no physical comfort, but also no emotional or spiritual comfort—except from God. David says, “I will eagerly seek You.” The Hebrew word is “at the dawn” and so that’s why the King James says “Early will I seek You.” It’s like the saying “The early bird catches the worm.” The idea is that you put God as first priority. There are many ways for us to have a sense of security and satisfaction in this age, but none more important than that which we get through a relationship with God that has primary importance.
David says he is near fainting from a lack of God’s presence and from what is said later in the psalm makes me think that David is alone at night and for comfort pictures himself in God’s presence in the Tabernacle and there he sees God’s strength and glory. We can go to the real Tabernacle, which is Jesus Christ, anytime to meditate on God’s glory and strength in one Man.
3 – 5
David will once again declare public praise of the Lord because the covenant He has in love is better than life. Do we really believe that? Our age wants us to be satisfied with the things it has to offer in this life, but David would rather die in the wilderness but have a relationship with God than try to get his satisfaction anywhere else.
So he will lift up hands, lift up praise—knowing that God satisfies him with “rich food” which is a Hebrew word that means “fatness.” There is an incredible “fatness” in a relationship with God that is unparalleled. The word suggests satisfaction beyond your needs.
John 10:10A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
6 – 8
So we see that David is on his bed and it’s night—often the time when our troubles come to mind without our ability to control them—the so-called “night brain.” David instead “thinks” and “meditates” on the Lord. “Think” is the Hebrew word “to mark.” “Meditate” is “to murmur or ponder.” So he focuses his mind of his loving Lord, marking the attributes of God, then ponders those things. Why? Because the Lord is his helper. Real satisfaction, real help. So David will “follow close.”
With “in the shadow of Your wings” perhaps He is again thinking of the mercy seat covered by the wings of the cherubim. God’s mercy is protection. It also of course suggests a mother hovering over her babies like Rose-Tu’s little elephant calf Water Lily at the Oregon Zoo.
Now David turns to the source of his trouble.