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God, I seek thee earnestly!
A Meditation on Psalm 63

by John Kunnathu

Psalm 63: Text

1 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;

2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

9 But those that seek my soul, 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 foxes.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

God, I seek thee earnestly! A Meditation on Psalm 63

In psalm 63 one finds intense yearning for the Almighty. The poet is desperately seeking words and metaphors to express his feelings. Looking around for a metaphor, the poet finds the dry land in the wilderness of Judea. How much does this dry and weary land thirst for a shower from the skies! He compares himself to that land and sings: O God, my soul thirsts for thee, and my flesh yearns for thee!

Such intense devotion springs out of intense love. If you really love someone, you will greatly respect that person, and will look for opportunities to be with that person. You won't miss any opportunity to communicate with that person, and he/she will loom large in your world.

Jesus asked us to have such wholehearted devotion to God.
He said:

Love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength, and
with all your mind. (Lk 10:27)

God is the ultimate reality: the being who really exists. Everything else, including us, only appear to exist. We, the most conscious beings on the earth, seek the truth of existence diligently because that is what makes our life meaningful.

Human soul has a huge vacuum, which can be filled only by God. When God fills our soul, we feel fully satisfied. This is probably the water of life Jesus offered the woman he saw in Samaria. The good thing about this poet of psalm 63 is that he knew exactly what would quench his inner thirst, and he was seeking it diligently. However, unfortunately, most of the people in the world do not know what will quench the thirst of their soul. They try to fill it with whatever they can get hold of, but in vain.
The more they stuff their soul with other things, the thirstier they become.

We often seek wealth, popularity, and pleasures hoping to quench our thirst. It is not that any of these are bad in themselves. They are actually good, and are God's gifts to us. They become bad when we try to fill our soul with them.

Mercury is good if we use it in thermometers, but if we use it to quench our thirst, we fall dead.

Wealth is good as long as we use it to satisfy our basic necessities of life, but it becomes the root of all evil once it becomes the goal of our life.
Popularity is good if it helps us to have a healthy life with a sense of belongingness and self esteem. It becomes another root of evil when it becomes the goal of life.

Pleasure (comfort) is good as long as it helps us to grow and function in our everyday life. It becomes another root of evil when it becomes the goal of life.

In short, we cannot afford to let anything take the place of God in our life.

Buddha taught that desire is the cause of all suffering. By this perhaps he meant that desire for wealth, popularity, and comfort gives us suffering. Such wrong-headed desires should be replaced by the desire for God.

This is similar to what John, the apostle says: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the Father but from the world (I John 2:15).

James writes about this as follows: Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14).

What is a successful life like?
It is like a building with its foundation on God.
It is like a trip with its destination as God.

What is an unsuccessful life like?
It is like a building with its foundation on something other than God.
It is like a trip with its destination somewhere other than God.

See Also:

A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: A meditation on Psalm 50

The dishonesty of denying God's existence: A Meditation on Psalm 53

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