In A Land Where There Is No Water (Psalm 63)


A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 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. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness [is] better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise [You] with joyful lips. 6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the [night] watches. 7 Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. 8 My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. 9 But those [who] seek my life, to destroy [it], Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10 They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals. 11 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.

PSALM 63:1-11


The first time I remember buying bottled water was years ago and I was in rural south Asia. It was unsafe for our digestive system to drink the water that everyone else (who was accustomed to the water and whatever it had in it) was drinking and so our water had to be boiled or bottled. It was in the middle of summer and so there were many moments where we looked for the opportunity to buy water. I never knew how much water I truly drank until that trip and I had to purchase it daily. I wasn’t in the country for long, but I was there long enough to learn how to negotiate the price of water in the local language. My need was a great motivator to learn at least that much of the language!

David speaks of his soul as being thirsty (for God) in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. In his travels and fleeing from Saul, certainly there were moments that he had lived this experience in the wilderness. He knew what it was like to be physically thirsty because there was no water, but here He is spiritually thirsty, longing for the presence of God in his life. But it seems like God isn’t to be found in the land! He is desperate for the Lord and so he is willing to rise up early and to meditate late into the night. He goes to the sanctuary. He looks in the places where he can get his thirst quenched. He longs for His God!

I often wonder, do we thirst for God like that? When you are thirsty you are willing to go out of your way and be inconvenienced to quench your thirst. Are we willing to rise early to study God’s word, or study into the night? Do we show up in the sanctuary looking for God or have we started looking for something else.

As I was contemplating this Psalm this morning it struck me that this is a song of David’s heart. Over and over again you find him panting for the grace, mercy, love, refuge, or presence of GOD! This is the one note that he plays over and over, “Only God will satisfy!I wonder what David would think of all of our love songs that play on the radio these days? Songs that don’t even smack of romance anymore but are filled with inuendo and panting for physical desire?

I think our culture is so far removed from God, yet still so thirsty for his presence in our lives that we pant after physical affection (in our songs), but miss the relationship completely… like the kid who is so spoiled on Kool aide that he can’t drink the regular water anymore. Jeremiah hit the nail on the head when he penned: “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, [And] hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).


Father, Thank you that you are the ultimate thirst quencher! You and you alone satisfy what my heart truly needs. I feel some days that I’m in an dry and thirsty land. This land has many idols. There are many broken cisterns that we have created songs for. We imagine toys, relationships, status, success, and money will satisfy our deepest need, but these are just dry wells. We were made to live for more! We were made for you! Quench my thirst in Jesus Christ today! You told us that anyone who was thirsty could come to you and would never thirst again! You indeed are living water! You said that blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s