Dear Family & Friends of Calvary Open Door,
Here is today’s message of encouragement to you. I pray that it will be strength to your hearts. Please feel free to let me know how you are doing. And please know that you are loved and you are missed!
The Help and the Joy in Remembering God
“O God, You are my God…I remember You on my bed…because You have been my help.” Psalm 63:1-8
Reading this chapter, we find that it was written during a time of spiritual drought that elicited great spiritual thirst in David’s soul. Just as in last week’s devotional, where we spoke of Jesus’ being alone in the wilderness, so David writes this Psalm in the wilderness of Judah. He cries, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” It is a wilderness experience with God alone. There are no others close by to comfort him.
David begins the chapter by crying out, “O God, You are my God.” The relationship was so personal – so very intimate – that he could, without hesitation, say to the God of all creation, “You are my God.” Throughout the Bible, God is quoted as saying, “You shall be my people, and I will be your God.” It is therefore reasonable to say that God takes pleasure in being personally owned by us, not in a utilitarian sense, but in the sense of staking a claim of mutual love and its ensuing benefits. The question, “Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior?” has been scoffed at by many, and greatly misunderstood, even by those who say they “know” Jesus. But a relationship that is personal in nature is the only true relationship with God and God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. It is not religion, but a relationship that God desires with us.
Over the past several weeks of “social distancing,” and “sheltering in place,” many, no doubt, have spent much time meditating on many things. One of the things we tend to do is to get caught up in remembering things – remembering how life was so different only a matter of weeks ago; remembering the “good times” that are not easy to come by right now. In this chapter, David does some remembering of his own. Lying on his bed throughout the night, he is remembering God – not just God, but “my God.” He is remembering how God has always been his help in the past, and therefore he can find protection in the shadow of God’s wings now (v. 7).
In the Book of Exodus, we read of the Tabernacle, the portable tent where the Divine Presence dwelt during the time that the people were in the wilderness. Similarly, in David’s wilderness experience, his God could be found in a particular place: He says, “In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water…I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and glory” (v. 2).
Over the past few weeks, I have spent a considerable amount of time in our church’s sanctuary, longing for the day when we can all be there together again. But while there physically alone, I am not spiritually alone! Just as David did, I have sought God’s presence in the sanctuary, and I can truthfully say that when I kneel at the altar in prayer, God’s power and glory is still to be found there. What this means is that while we are all in this present wilderness, with no one else with us but God, we must all make for ourselves portable “tabernacles” of prayer and praise, where God’s power and glory can be found.
David declares in verse seven, “Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.” Dear sisters and brothers, may we therefore spiritually “shelter in place” in the shadow of God’s wings, all the while singing and rejoicing!
Finally, in verse eight, because God’s right hand upholds him, David makes a commitment to “cling” to his God. The Hebrew verb is dabaq, and it means to “stick to” (like glue). Therefore, just as David did, let us remember God on our beds through the night; let us thirst for God; let our lips praise God; let us lift up our hands in God’s name; and let our mouths praise God with joyful lips – all the while remembering that God has been our help, and God will see us through this present wilderness experience too!
Love in Christ Jesus,