Seek God and Cling to God
The introduction to Psalm 63 in our Bibles informs us that this psalm was written by David “when he was in the wilderness of Judah.” By this we know that David wrote this psalm during one of two difficult episodes in his life: either while he was fleeing for his life from Saul (1 Samuel 22-23) or when he fled from his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-16). Whichever episode it was, we know that this was an anxious time for David in harsh conditions. As David fled through the desert, he grew thirstier and thirstier, with no drinking fountain in existence, no soda machine around the corner, and no nearby convenience store. Even the nearest stream was a long walk away. David was thirsty—intensely thirsty. But what David longed for even more than water that his body longed for was intimate connection with God that his soul longed for. Thus David opens this psalm with the words, “O God, you are my God, I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Here’s the good news: Our souls thirst for God because God wants to be found!
Koshy Muthalaly shares a wonderful story: “My six-year-old son, Alex, dashed up the stairs to the bedroom, looking for me. We were having a great time playing hide-and-seek. Looking everywhere but not seeing me, Alex called out. But the silence that ensued offered him no comfort. ‘Dad!’ he called out again, to no response. Finally, in his frustration, little Alex said, ‘Dad, if you love me, show me your face.’ I could resist no longer. I showed myself, and Alex came to me and gave me a big hug.”
Koshy Muthalaly’s love for his son does not outdo God’s love for us. More than Koshy delighted in showing his face to his son, God delights in sharing himself with us!
Not only did David seek God, he also clung to God. In verse 8, he shares, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
The Hebrew word used here for “clings” is used in Genesis 2:24 to describe a husband leaving his father and mother and clinging to (being united with) his wife. The word is also used in Ruth 1:14 to describe Ruth clinging to her mother-in-law Naomi, not willing to part from Naomi when Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem.
This is what we need to know about David’s relationship with God. As much as marriage partners devote themselves to each other, for the love and joy and stability and contentment they desire, David devoted himself to God, believing that he found in God deepest love, joy, stability and contentment. And as fiercely as Ruth clung to Naomi, David clung to God, not willing to let the fears and frustrations and disappointments in life separate him from God.
When we seek God as though “in a dry and weary land where there is no water,” and as we cling to God, we will discover in our lives the truth of what David shares in verse 8: “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”