God’s Presence Comforts and Assures
Key Verse: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”
THIS PSALM SPEAKS OF God’s comfort and assurance to those of his people who are traveling in the wilderness of this world. It was this very comfort which David felt as he wandered in the wilderness of Judah, and which inspired him to put down these words for our special benefit.
The wilderness of Judah, as suggested in our Key Verse, was a dry land with little, if any, water. It is illustrative of the wilderness of this world—dry, and void of the water of truth—in which the Lord’s consecrated people are now dwelling. Just as David’s soul thirsted for God, so ours should long for the water of life, the Truth. Although this world is a ‘dry and thirsty land,’ yet the Heavenly Father has seen fit to provide us this living water through his Word, the Scriptures. It is only this water which quenches our thirst for God’s great plan of salvation. Only this living water harmonizes all God’s attributes—his justice, power, wisdom and love—to the intent that all the features of his plan conform harmoniously to each of these cardinal characteristics.
In verse 2 of this psalm, David recounts that he had seen God’s power as it was manifest in the “sanctuary,” but he also recognized that God’s power was just as evident in the wilderness experiences. This is an important lesson to us. God’s power is not just manifest in the easier ‘sanctuary’ experiences of life, but also when we walk through the more difficult and challenging wilderness experiences. Knowing this, David continued, “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”—vss. 3,4
In verse 6 of this psalm, David makes particular note of his habit of drawing his mind back to God, in particular, at the close of each day, “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” Just as the Key Verse states that we should seek God early each day, as we rise from the night’s rest, so also at the end of the day we should draw our attention back to our Heavenly Father, remembering him and meditating upon him in the night watches. Ending our day in meditation upon the Lord, regardless of our earlier hours’ experiences, serves to provide us needed comfort and assurance as we retire from the cares of the day.
The psalm continues, “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” (vss. 7,8) The ‘right hand’ spoken of which upholds us is our Lord Jesus, who the Apostle Paul says “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2) He is our advocate (I John 2:1)—the one through whom we have access to the presence of God. It is through him that the comfort and assurances of God become real to us. It is our Lord Jesus who upholds us, as a merciful and faithful high priest, one who was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (Heb. 4:15) What a further comfort and assurance it is to know that Jesus went through the same types of experiences that we do and, thus, is sympathetic with us in all the trials and difficulties of life.