Yesterday we started looking at Psalm 63. I told you that Derek Kidner broke it down into three sections—God as my desire, my delight, and my defender. We looked at verses 1-4 last week and talked about God as our desire, but tonight I want us to look at verses 5-8 and see God as our delight.
What brings you the greatest delight? What brings you the greatest joy? The way you answer that question will tell you volumes about your relationship with God. Do you remember what we said was the key to the whole Psalm? It was the line in verse one, “Oh God, you are my God.” When you really know God as your God—when you have a personal relationship with Him that goes beyond the superficial—that goes beyond following Him when things are going well—that goes beyond following Him when you get your way—that goes beyond the surface level and takes you to the debts of a relationship that will follow Him even when you are in the dry and weary land—there will be one thing and one thing alone that will satisfy you.
How can the same Psalmist write those words? He can write that because it is true in the dry places and it is true by the streams. David said, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” We want the desires of our heart without first desiring or delighting in Him, but it doesn’t work that way. If your heart does not desire Him and if you heart is not delighting in Him the desires of your heart will not bring glory to Him and they will not satisfy you. David knew that—do we?
David walked through the desert places—he walked through the valley of death, but his circumstances never impacted his thirst. His thirst for God impacted his circumstances. Look at what he said in verse 2—“So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live in your name I will lift up my hands.” That is a man who delighted in God because God was his God.
What is interesting is David moved from desire to delight while he was still in the dry and weary place. He was in the dry and weary land and his soul thirsted and his fleshed fainted, but looking upon God changed everything. Suddenly in the midst of the circumstances his thirst was met, but it was not just met—it was satisfied.
Look at verse one and verse five. “My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you…” “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.” David went from having a soul that thirsted to having a soul that was feasted. His relationship with God, his gaze upon God, his remembrance of God’s love, and his praise of God in the midst of his circumstances changed everything.
There are times we find ourselves in the valley and we think if I could just get out of the valley I would praise God, but here we learn the secret to enjoying God even in the valley. Praise changes it all. Listen to the opening prayer of The Valley of Vision:
Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
That the way down is the way up,
That to be low is to be high,
That the broken heart is the healed heart,
That the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit.
That the repenting soul is the victorious soul.
That to have nothing is to possess all,
That to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
That to give is to receive,
That the valley is the place of vision…
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.
I have found that many believers today will never come to enjoy what it is to delight themselves in God for two reasons—first they do not desire God as an end in itself—they enjoy God as a means to an end. And second, because of that they cannot get beyond being in the dry and weary land. They are so full of themselves that they can’t see the beauty of the Lord in the midst of the valley. David was able to see the beauty of God even in the dry and weary land and that made the difference.
What is the secret to delighting in God? In Psalm 1 we find these words, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night…” and here in Psalm 63:6 we find, “When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night for you have been my help. And in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” David knew God because he knew the revelation of God. He meditated on God in the morning, “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice, in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
David couldn’t sleep, but he could meditate. Meditation upon the Word of God drew him closer to the God of the Word and every thing changed. He remembered how God had delivered him before and he knew God could deliver him again, but even if God chose not to deliver him he knew God’s steadfast love was better than life and he was going to praise God regardless. That is a man who delights in his God.
Let’s look at two phrases—first in verse 7 we see the following, “in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” In Psalm 17:8 David prayed, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…” We see both of those phrases in Deuteronomy 32:10-11. Verse 11 says, “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions the Lord alone guided him…” We will never be what we are supposed to be if we stay in the nest and never get out of our comfort zone. God will lead us to the dry and weary places so that we can come to a fuller knowledge of Him.
We also see the phrase in Psalm 61:3-4. David speaks of the rock, he speaks of the strong tower, and then he speaks of the tent, but the greatest protection is found in taking refuge under the shelter of His wings! Do you know what it is to walk with God in the valley—to be in the depths, but to see him in the heights? The two are not mutually exclusive you know? There are times you’ll never see Him unless He first can show you the poverty of your soul.
Let me close by looking at verse 8, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” First, my soul clings to you. The word cling is found in other places—first it is found in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The word hold fast is the word cling. Do you see the depth of intimacy that is found in David’s statement? It has the idea of being glued to something—in other words David was glued to God—he was not going to let him get away.
Think about the times you have seen a little boy follow his daddy around. He tries to walk like him, talk like him, act like him—the boy becomes just like his daddy for two reasons—he is born of him and he lives with him. We are born of God and if we are truly converted we will live in and with God. That changes everything.
What is the result of clinging to God? “Your right hand upholds me.” Again I see the picture of a child walking with his father. Suddenly something happens and the child is in danger or at least feels like he is in danger—suddenly the father does one of two things—he picks up the child or he holds the child’s hand. Everything is fine as long as daddy is holding you…Think about it—who is better equipped to protect you than a Daddy who is all powerful, all knowing, and all present? Cling to Him—follow hard after Him and trust in His right hand to uphold you!
When God is our Delight we also know Him as God our Defense and we trust Him even when others are seeking to “destroy my life.” David set his heart to do one things in the midst of it all—he was going to “rejoice in God.” Come what may he was going to rejoice.