Scripture: Psalm 63:5-6
The experience of which the Psalmist speaks is too little enjoyed by God’s people generally. Surely if we are honest we cannot speak very much like this of God. We are conscious of an emptiness rather than a fullness; a hunger rather than a sense of satisfaction.
There is therefore something desirable about this experience for the Christian. As we read this do we not say: I want to share in this! Such an experience of God is necessary for our own comfort in the wilderness experiences that often we are called to go through.
I THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD DESCRIBED.
David speaks confidently of what he will enjoy of God as he seeks the Lord.
- My soul…satisfied, v5. A personal, spiritual encounter. The primary focus of any experience of God in this life is spiritual rather than physical. David speaks of his soul—the animating principle of life itself. This is a deep spiritual experience touching his very life and all its faculties. It is satisfying—rich and full. This is the experience the Saviour refers to John 10:10.
- Marrow and fatness. Both words he uses relate to fat. The idea is of rich, succulent nourishment—the finest and richest of fare. There is an additional idea conveyed in the word translated fatness. It is also the word for ashes (Lev 1:16)—the oily residue when the fat of the sacrifice was completely consumed. It is as if he is contemplating the rich spiritual benefits of meeting God on the basis of a sacrifice that has been made and accepted. Cp 36:8, 65:4, Is 25:6—the final great victory celebration of Christ over Antichrist.
- Praise and joy prompted. Such is the nature of this encounter with God that he will sing. There is an external, vocal response to express joy in God. The satisfied soul can sing! It is hard to sing when emptiness of soul makes life bitter.
II THE MEANS TO ENJOYING GOD IN THIS WAY.
- A strong spiritual appetite. The appetite of v1-2 is at work to produce this experience. There is a rich sense of satisfaction because there is a deep longing and desire for all that God is. A meal only satisfies in this way when it conforms with our palate, appetite and taste. His past experience of God informs this desire. What he had known of God in the sanctuary is prominent in his mind now. That is what had shaped his spiritual palate.
- Remember Thee, v6. The danger of forgetting God is real. David’s words serve to remind us of this sad reality. When I remember Thee…I may enjoy such an encounter with God. There is obviously a simple, focussed contemplation of God here. When God alone fills the mind of the saint it is a satisfying experience.
- Meditate on Thee, v6. Meditation is a communing with self, even audibly. It is a form of self-instruction, applying the truths of Scripture to the heart and mind. Cp 1:2, 77:12, 104:34
III THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH SUCH AN EXPERIENCE OF GOD MAY BE KNOWN.
The Psalm indicates that we may know God in this way even in dire circumstances. David’s temporary exile from the throne by Absalom is likely in view here.
- Such an experience of God is not limited to the good times in life. Certainly we should look for such communion with God at all times. David had known this before in times when he was able to come and go from the sanctuary. He knows it again at this difficult time.
- Upon my bed, v6. He is on his bed but cannot sleep. Even when rest is denied us we may still meet God.
- In the night watches, v6. Beyond the thought of it being night time is the idea of danger that makes a watch necessary. David was certainly in such a time here—see title.