Psalm 63 could easily be titled “The Philippians of the Old Testament”. Though under house arrest, having spent over two years in the custody of the Roman government and (more recently) survived a harrowing trip from Palestine to Rome, Paul writes to the Philippians a joyous epistle. Psalm 63 was written in the wilderness of Judah after king David (v. 11) had just survived a coup attempt (v. 9).
Like Paul, David is not wallowing in self-pity. Instead, David is joyously anticipating a return to Jerusalem and normalcy in which he can passionately pursue his relationship with 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” (vv. 1-2).
In the remainder of the psalm, David explains the sublime reasons he desires to draw ever nearer to God. He states three:
- The blessedness of divine lovingkindness. “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” (vv. 3-5).
- The joy of divine fellowship. “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night 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” (vv. 6-8).
- The safety of divine protection. “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” (vv. 9-11).
What rich fellowship is enjoyed when God draws near to you!
Beloved, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).