The desire for God
For reading & meditation: Psalms 42
"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God '" (v.2)
Yesterday we looked at the words: "Whom have I in heaven but you?" Now we examine the second part of that text: "And earth has nothing I desire besides you" (Psa. 73:25b). Personally, I find these some of the most enchanting words in the whole of the Old Testament. The first part of the verse is put in a negative, and the second in a positive form. Having looked around and seen that there is no satisfying substitute for the Almighty, the psalmist goes on to make the positive assertion that from the bottom of his heart he desires to know God. He has come to see (so I believe) that it is more important to desire God for who He is than for what He does or what He gives. In a sense, the psalmist's entire problem arose out of the fact that he had put what God gives in the place of God Himself. The ungodly were having a good time while he was having a bad time. Why was he having to suffer like this? His trouble was that he had become more interested in the things God gives than in God Himself, and when he didn't have the things he wanted, he began to doubt God's love. Now, however, he has come to the place where he desires God for Himself. The ultimate test of the Christian life is whether we desire God for Himself or for what He gives. Each one of us must ask ourselves: "Do I desire God more than forgiveness? More than release from my problems? More than healing of my condition? More than gifts and abilities?" How tragic that our prayers can be full of pleadings that show, when they are examined, that we are more interested in enjoying God's blessings than we are in enjoying God.
O Father, forgive me that so often I am concerned more with Your gifts than I am with You - the Giver. Help me to long after You, not because of what You give me, but because of who You are. In Jesus' Name I ask it Amen.
For further study:
1. What was the psalmist thirsting for?
2. What is the result of thirsting and hungering?