Psalm 63

1650 psalter

The Righteous One finding water-springs in God

Driven into the wilderness through the ambition and treachery of Absalom, his son, David reveals the great longing and desire in his heart for the means of grace. To be denied the society of the godly in worship and fellowship was worse than his wilderness surroundings. Soul thirst, on occasions, can be more acute than the thirst of the body.

It is when we are denied the ordinances of God’s house and godly company, that then we realise what past blessings we have enjoyed. But it also tests our spirituality, in that, whether we can praise Him and intensely desire Him in barren circumstances. Can we banquet on fatness when surrounded by the leanness of conditions? The last verse embraces the Messiah King, and thus the sentiments of the whole psalm can be ascribed to Christ. Chrysostom wrote that no day passed in the early church without the singing of this psalm.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Jackson, Kilmarnock, St Bernard, Wetherby

St Bernard

Psalm 63

¹Lord, thee my God, I’ll early seek:
My soul doth thirst for thee;
My flesh longs in a dry parch’d land,
Wherein no waters be:

²That I thy power may behold,
And brightness of thy face,
As I have seen thee heretofore
Within thy holy place.

³Since better is thy love than life,
My lips thee praise shall give.
⁴I in thy name will lift my hands,
And bless thee while I live.

⁵Ev’n as with marrow and with fat
My soul shall filled be;
Then shall my mouth with joyful lips
Sing praises unto thee:

⁶When I do thee upon my bed
Remember with delight,
And when on thee I meditate
In watches of the night.

⁷In shadow of thy wings I’ll joy;
For thou mine help hast been.
⁸My soul thee follows hard; and me
Thy right hand doth sustain.

⁹Who seek my soul to spill shall sink
Down to earth’s lowest room.
¹⁰They by the sword shall be cut off,
And foxes’ prey become.

¹¹Yet shall the king in God rejoice,
And each one glory shall
That swear by him: but stopp’d shall be
The mouth of liars all.