You Can Have A Relationship Like That

You Can Have A Relationship Like That

Neal Pollard (at En Gedi, 2018, with Kathy)

In two different summers (2017 and 2019), I have visited the wilderness of Judea. Two words describe it very well: “hot” and “dry.” It serves as a great graphic or visual for David’s illustration in Psalm 63. The title over the psalm simply says, “A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judea.” He would have spent time there throughout his life, as a shepherd boy, as the Shepherd King, and, no doubt, later in life as the region included his Bethlehem home and his Jerusalem home. Whether herding sheep, fighting (or fleeing) enemies, or simply traveling, David would have traversed the land he speaks of in this psalm.

There is an entire song drawn from the words of this psalm. Mike Di Scala wrote it and the group Acapella sang this beautiful song (Your Love Is Better Than Life).  The most striking feature of this psalm, to me, is the intimacy between David and God. David is not indifferent, like a spoiled child. God is not pictured as an indulgent Father or wrathful Deity. There is such depth to the relationship. 

It Is A Personal Relationship–“You are my God” (1); “my soul, my flesh” (1), “my lips” (3), “my hands” (4), “my soul” (5), “my mouth” (5), “my bed” (6), “my help” (7), “my soul” (8), “my life” (9). You’ll find the personal pronoun “I” eight times (along with “my” 11 times). Not his father Jesse’s faith. Not his predecessor Saul’s faith. Not his brother Eliab’s faith. Not his the faith of a wife. David was personally invested. “I have seen you in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” Nobody can do that for me.

It Is A Passionate Relationship–Modified with words like “earnestly” (1), “thirst” and “yearn” (2), it led him to praise, bless, lift hands, be satisfied and meditate. His soul clings to God (8). Notice that the one led to the other. By investing, he reaped dividends.  What we do daily is either building our fire or dousing it. David was aflame.

It Is A Performing Relationship–It went beyond feelings. David did not simply receive; He gave. He sought (2). He worshipped (2-5). He meditated (6). He clung (8). It was characterized by faith, but also works. 

It Is A Protecting Relationship– Despite the adversities and struggles he encountered in life, David was confident that God was with him and would deliver him (7, 9-12). God is praiseworthy, just in His nature. But it’s so much more than that. He cares for us and will help us every step of the way. Knowing that, who can help but mirror David’s thoughts and feelings in Psalm 63? 

The Judean Wilderness today


3 thoughts on “You Can Have A Relationship Like That

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