“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is…. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:1, 5)
If you look up Psalm 63 in your Bible, you will probably see this title: “A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.” Have you ever wondered what “the wilderness” was like in Bible times?
One summer, Erika’s family went on vacation to the Holy Land. They spent some time in the wilderness area where David was when he wrote this psalm. Erika’s dad had a water bottle with him, and she was really glad. It was hot, dry, and dusty, and she began to understand what David the psalm-writer must have meant when he described being thirsty and longing for God “in a dry and thirsty land.” She could not see any rivers. There were not many trees or plants. What a barren, lonely desert it was!
Then, the group Erika was with visited the Dead Sea. Water! At last! But it was not the kind of water you could drink. The Dead Sea is saltier than any other ocean in the world. Erika could hardly wait to get back on the bus and grab another water bottle from Dad’s cooler. But when she opened it and reached inside, she saw that they were out of water.
Have you ever been thirsty? Really thirsty? So thirsty that water is all you want, all you can think about? That’s how Erika felt. And that is the kind of feeling David was using to describe his desire for God. He longed for God. He longed to know Him, to see His power and His glory. He knew that God was the only thing that could satisfy the empty, dry feeling deep inside–the thirst in his soul.
When their bus finally stopped at a little shop that day, Erika and her family were willing to pay any price for water. Erika hurried inside the shop and saw that there were two choices in the refrigerator—water and orange pop. Erika made a dumb decision. She looked at the bright orange pop cans and suddenly thought she’d like something sweeter and fizzier than plain old water. That can of orange pop was gone in about twenty minutes. But it didn’t refresh her. When the can was empty, she was still thirsty. Why? Because what she really needed was water.
How often do we reach out for other things to satisfy our souls when God is what we really need? Everything else is like orange pop in a dry and dusty wilderness where no water is. It might look good, but it doesn’t refresh and satisfy us deep down in our souls. Only God can do that.
Only God satisfies the thirst in our souls.
» Am I looking for satisfaction in something other than God?
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