WLDERNESS WANDERINGS

The opening words of this Psalm 63, create anticipation, mainly because it was the Psalmists (David) injecting the depths of his feelings even while He was in “retreat” mode. 

His preference would have been to be in the sanctuary in Jerusalem.  However, the likelihood of that possibility was negative, but the presence of God as the necessity of this experience surmounts the experience itself. 

We are reminded of the necessity of Jesus having to go immediately into the wilderness following His baptism; for what reason?  To be tempted of Satan!  Three times Satan struck at what he saw as a possible weakness, and three times we read of Christ’s rebuke.  There was the prospect of food, “turn the stones to bread”; 40 days, hungered, but “man cannot live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!”

That was followed by a test of ego: From the pinnacle of the Temple he suggested, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You; and On their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike your foot against a stone.’  It is to this that Jesus replies: ‘On the other hand, it is written, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test’”

The devil tests Christ by taking Him to a high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written “you shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him ONLY.” 

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.  (Matthew 3)  It is then that we hear Him say, from Psalm 63, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.  Because your loving kindness 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 in Your name, my soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.”

“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for you have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.  My soul clings to You; you right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life to destroy it will go into the depths of the earth.  They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; they will be a prey for foxes.  But the king will rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him will glory, for the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.”

So, we have all been in wilderness journeys; they are not new.  But, to have a Psalm like this in readiness, is soul lifting.

-Ted

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