Psalm 63 is written as David runs from his son Absalom, who has organised a revolt against David and was chasing to kill him. So David finds himself in the wilderness of Judah, away from the tabernacle of Jerusalem, the place he loved the most. Anointed king, the man after God’s heart, ends up in a very hot and dry , uncomfortable and stony place.
What does David do? The same thing he does whenever he is in the wilderness or a battle or any other trouble: he writes a song to God and starts to worship. Because he knows that worship transforms the wilderness.
Psalm 63 is written in 3 stanzas. So we can learn at least 3 lessons about worship.1. Worship brings us closer to God
Verse 1. “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;”
He established a personal relationship and makes decision to run towards and not away.“I am thirsty for you, my whole being longs for you “
Here, David is not looking for water or rest or revenge, he understands that he has a deeper need and only God can satisfy it.
How does he know that?
Verse 2. “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory“
He knows the best place for his heart. Sanctuary was a corporate place of worship, similar to what church for us today. Divine power and glory are not confined to any place or person or formality and can be experienced anywhere.
Verse 3. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
How much time do we spend begging God to make our ‘this’ life better, Lord heals this, give me this, take away that. But as David worships, his desire gets shifted because life is temporary and so are the troubles. But His love is everlasting. ”My lips will glorify you” - not mouth, not voice, just lips, like a whisper of hope. Like a song “to be played with sorrow”.But then there is a progression of transformation and you can see as assurance of God’s love lifts him up.
Verse 4. “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
Lifting hands changes posture, lifts your eyes, changes your perspective.
Verse 5. “I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”
Here is another transformation happening. Melody added to our words connects our heart and soul to what we are saying. As he sings, his faith rises up.2. Worship brings us peace and rest
Verses 6-8. “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. “
Notice David is not tossing and turning in fear. David is contemplating on the goodness of God. He is gathering his memory of the past as well as of the last few days, even in the midst of all he is thankful that God has helped his family and followers to get out of city before Absalom’s army came in.
David clings to God dedicating himself to move only where God moves, and not to look for justice outside of God’s supreme will.3. Worship brings us insight into God’s plans
Verses 9-10. ”Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.”
What a great transformation of his soul! From whispering to prophetic! He prophecies over his enemies, he declares God’s justice over his life. Although we know his victory was a bitter sweet as his son Absalom was eventually killed.
Verse 11. ”But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.”
Notice how he addresses himself even though there is not much of kingship left as he is running for life. But when we worship we are reminded of who we are in God, we see with our eyes of faith and believe that’s God’s word is sovereign.Discussion Questions
1. What is one thing you have learnt studying this psalm?
2. Share your experience of how worship had transformed your heart and attitude in the midst of difficulties.
3. We are not in danger for our faith and convictions, nevertheless we make choices every day. When David says that “God’s love is better than life”
, how can you apply those words to your life?
4. Take time to worship together. Use prophetic to encourage each other.