A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20201110
Good morning everybody! It is November 10 and our Daily Dose today is from Psalm 63. This is a psalm of David’s, while he was wandering in the wilderness.
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
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;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on 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 sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword,
they shall be prey for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
Here ends the reading.
This passage is a lot of contrasting pieces. At the beginning, the description is being thirsty, being faint, being in this dry and weary land and there’s no water. Our pandemic probably feels a lot like that now. After 6 months, 7 months, 8 months, of having to be away from those we love, who normally feed us emotionally. We might feel like we’re starving. We’re starving for a hug. We’re starving for Thanksgiving with our family and our friends. We might feel really depleted and like we’re just longing for companionship and longing for comfort, in ways that have been historically familiar, and now are absent from us. So, we’re in our own wilderness in some ways. We don’t talk about wilderness a ton, but when you imagine wilderness, what do you think of? I think of sort of a barren, rocky place, that’s kind of hard to walk around in. It’s not smooth, easy paths in front of you and it’s not a clear cut knowing which way to go. But, it’s this place that’s hard. Probably in hindsight, it builds muscles, but in the moment, it’s not a fun place to be. So, in this place of difficult, and hard, and straining, and longing for what is not there, God comes, right in the midst of that.
This is described in two ways. It’s described as when David, the psalmist, sees God in the sanctuary, and sees the power, the glory, the magnificence of God and that resonates and comforts David. The power that God has, the glory that God has, the steadfastness of God in the midst of this hard time. So, in public worship, David sees God. One aspect of this is: “I will lift up my hands and call upon Your name”. Sometimes you see people do that in church – lift up their hands. Often that can be a sign of surrender. Surrendering to God. ‘God – I need you in this, God, I need your help in this, God, come and be here’. It’s like in the old days, people would surrender, when they were giving up. It’s a way of Christians saying, ‘God come and be in my life and I surrender to You, my King’.
Secondly, David, the psalmist, talks about meeting God in these private moments. When he’s thinking about God on his bed. When he’s meditating in the middle of the night. For David, typically the watches of the night, are a military component of guarding against the enemy. I don’t know how many of you are sleeping well, or not well these days. Maybe you’re up in the middle of the night anxious about whatever. Maybe you’re waking up and having a hard time falling back asleep. Maybe there’s something on your mind that kind of brews around in the middle of the night. That’s a time to be with God as well, on your bed, in the middle of the night. God comes in these very private times. As well as in these public times. Because God is steadfast and always present.
I love how the description is “my soul clings to you”. There’s a recognition of an emptiness that is felt and how God alone can fill that emptiness. As much as we might try to binge watch some favorite TV shows, or have a glass of wine to unwind, or go exercise, or look at social media, or whatever. Some of those things are good. But the ultimate satisfying is God. I think it is of great comfort, to know that wherever you’re at, whatever you’re going through, this week or in the weeks to come, that your soul can cling to God, and in that is found joy! That is mentioned two or three times in the psalm. This idea of joy – which is striking because it sounds lonely and it sounds sad. Yet,“in the shadow of Your wings, I sing for joy”. So, go and find God and find your joy today. Peace and joy in all of that. Take care everybody. Bye-bye.