June 05 2023
Today, Monday June 05
“Rejoicing In God”
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.”
The more I read this Psalm, study, and meditate on it the more it means to me. I told my wife yesterday; “I can’t believe I haven’t memorized this Psalm, but it definitely is on my list to do so now”! David was in the wilderness of Judah facing the greatest crisis of his kingdom, yet we find him desiring and seeking God (vv. 1-2), praising and worshipping God (vv. 3-5), remembering and thinking about God (vv. 6-8), and finally “rejoicing in God” (vv. 9-11).
After yesterdays chat, I remembered an old praise tune that came from verses 3 and 4 in this Psalm. In the video chat today, I’ve attempted to sing a portion of it. If you go to this link on YouTube, https://youtu.be/JllGU0qYBgk you can listen to it in its entirety, and as often as you want by Maranatha Music. Who knows maybe this is the same tune that David used to sing it to!
You might also think that somehow David already knew about Philippians 4:4-9, that the Apostle Paul would write centuries later from a Roman prison to the church at Philippi. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Remember in Acts 16, when Paul and Silas were on their second missionary journey, it was at Philippi that they were terribly beaten and thrown into prison cell with their bloody bodies (Acts 16:22-34). Maybe it was Paul who remembered Psalm 63, because he and Silas practiced what David did when he was rejected in a time and place of tremendous pain and distress! At midnight Paul and Silas were found singing and praising the Lord instead of complaining and moaning in their pain and misery and demanding their rights. God was so thrilled by them responding this way that He sent an earthquake and had them released.
Some people might criticize David for wanting his enemies destroyed and their bodies left for the scavengers to devour (vv.9-10). But they should remember that these rebels were the enemies of God and God's purposes for Israel, and that those purposes included the coming of Messiah into the world. David didn't execute the enemy himself but asked God to deal with them, and He did (2 Sam. 18:6-8).
David only wanted the God of truth to triumph over the liars. David rejoices and glorifies God because he believes that the “mouth of those who speak lies will be stopped” (v. 11). (There are a lot of lying mouths in the media and politics, and even pulpits, that need to be stopped today.) David didn't rejoice in the destruction of his enemies; he rejoiced in the God of Israel. Furthermore, he encouraged all the people to praise and glorify God with him (v. 11).
Often David's personal praise became communal praise as he publicly glorified the Lord for His mercies, and so it should be with us today. And we can and will, if we seek and desire Him with all our heart and “meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8)!