The God of My Satisfaction, Psalm 63

There is something improved in my existence when I behold the glorious existence of God.

Are you satisfied with God?

 

New Year’s resolutions, seeking satisfaction by achieving certain goals.  Resolve to find God your greatest satisfaction.

Nothing brings such ease of soul as the riches of God.  Not simply what He has, but, He Himself is our satisfaction.

 

Marcion was a man who lived in the 2nd Century.  His name became the Marcion taught that the God of the OT was not the same as the God of the NT.  The God of the OT was an angry, mean, judging God. In the NT no such characterization could be made of God.  

 

But is that true?  Certainly not. And the early church knew that, and condemned Marcion’s teachings as heresy.  We ought to thank God for the men who took on Marcion and preserved Biblical truths for subsequent generations.  But this Marcionite idea is probably more common than we think. A misconception even among good Christians is that God is an angry God in the OT but a loving God in the NT.  Someone’s not reading the Bible to think that way. The God of the NT is just as angry towards evil as the OT because its the same God. And the God of the OT is just as loving as the God of the NT because its the same God.  There is one God and 2 Testaments.   

 

In the OT we are overwhelmed with a picture of God as tender, compassionate, merciful, loving, devoted, faithful, attentive and caring, gentle, good, kind, gracious and more.  He inspires great joy and the desire to sing to Him; He settles anxieties and gives peace; He is the desire of many and they seek Him out because He wants them to find Him. This God is not a raging storm scaring off men who pursue Him.  His desire is that men desire Him. He pursues men that they would pursue Him. He seeks fellowship with man He’s created so that man would seek fellowship with Him as their Creator.  

 

He is the God who fulfills all our longings.  He is the water to our thirst, the bread to our hunger, our shade in the heat, our peace in the chaos, the fulfillment of our deepest yearnings, the satisfaction of our soul’s desires.  Psalm 103:5 says “[The LORD] satisfies your desires with good things…”

 

To draw this point out, the sermon title today is “The God of My Satisfaction”.  Our focus today will be Psalm 63. My hope is that together we all discover in our Savior our highest satisfaction.  If we leave here today sure that Jesus satisfies us more deeply and more fully than anything else we can turn to, then, God will have been in this sermon.

 

Satisfaction in God means that once you’ve found in Him your greatest delight, your greatest fulfillment, you lose that intense need for other things you used to turn to for satisfaction.  You enter into that experience of satisfaction that God Himself enjoys.

 

Now for God to be our All-Satisfying God it would mean some things.  First He as our Creator would know us perfectly. He would understand how we are and what we need.  There is something in the relationship between Creator and creature that makes the creature long for its Creator.  But, that He would be our greatest satisfaction requires that He would want to fulfill that role in our lives. He must therefore be of infinite benevolence because He so chooses to be that All-Satisfying drink to our thirsty souls.  

 

Jonathan Edwards, hailed as the greatest theologian America ever produced, did not have a dry and dusty sort of relationship with God.  No, his scholarship was worship to him. His knowledge of God was equalled by his joy in God. “Sometimes, only mentioning a single word caused my heart to burn within me; or only seeing the name of Christ…has made me have exalting thoughts of God….The sweetest joys and delights I have experienced, have not been those that have arisen from a hope of my own good estate, but in a direct view of the glorious things of the Gospel.”  For those men who feel they are closest to God while in the woods, Edwards may resonate with you. His regular horse rides alone in the woods prompted the most intimate times with God, “The person of Christ appeared so ineffably excellent with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception….”

 

Jonathan was participating in that all-satisfying joy in God that we see so much of in the Bible. 

Psalm 63; 90:14; 42:1-2; 84:1-4; 73:25-28; 143:6-7; 103:1-5; 36:8; 17:15; 104:28; Isa. 26:8-9; 55:1-2

 

#1:  All of Me Needs All of God (1a)

This is describing that intense, acute craving for God.  David is extremely preoccupied with God. This human yearning for God is felt by the whole man – his soul and his body.

 

In one breath David expresses his soul-need for God, “my soul thirsts for you”.  He said it more poetically in Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pants for water so my soul pants for you O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God, when can I go and meet with God?” In Psalm 143:6 David declared, “I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”  Feel the spiritual dehydration of David. Isaiah 26:9 joins in and says it this way, “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.”  

 

In the next breath David expresses his need for God is felt even physically, “my soul thirsts for you; my body longs for you”.  Now David’s physical person is affected. Psalm 84:2 describes it too, “My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”  The whole man – mind, body, heart and soul – all of him feels an overwhelming need for his Maker. There is no compartmentalizing the spiritual and the physical here. The spiritual affects the physical and the physical affects the spiritual.  This divorcing of the two is one of the great tragedies of our day. God is one and the same over our bodies just as He is over our souls. When we are satisfied in Christ our misguided appetites of soul and flesh are diminished 

 

#2:  God’s Surpassing Satisfaction (1b, 2-3)

The satisfaction God brings us surpasses everything else.  Nothing else can offer us what God can. Psalm 73:25 says it so timelessly, “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire beside you.”  

 

Enjoying God is better than the enjoyment of anything else.  As one poet put it:

 

No comfort peace so sweet

No equal joy apart

Than all delights in Him we meet

Once with Him we start

 

God’s surpassing satisfaction is seen in three ways here.

 

First, is there is nothing in David’s world that he finds quenches his thirsty soul.  Look how he says it in verse 1, “my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  To David, the whole world was a desert, and there was nowhere for him to go in this world for the kind of thirst he had.  He had to look to a fountain from above, to his God. 

 

Second, David is satisfied in seeing the glory of who God is.  Verse 2 says, ‘I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.”  In our modern day uber-pragmatic approach to life we look for God’s blessings and how they practically improve our lives.  But we miss this highest “practical” blessing that David describes here. He “sees” the “power and glory” of God. Never is the soul of a worshipper more blessed than this:  to behold his Maker in all His radiant glory and to stand in awe of His infinite majesty. David might say to us, “What else in all the universe could I look upon and be in such awe?”  

 

Thirdly, the way we see God’s surpassing satisfaction is in His love.  Verse 3 says, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”  In the previous verse David is saying God is magnificent to behold and just “seeing” God means you know there is nothing else like Him.  But David didn’t stop at describing God’s marvelous attributes. He doesn’t want us to think of it like we’re merely looking at God through a telescope, like we would at some far-off star formation – beautiful and awe-inspiring, but, out of reach.  No, that God who’s astounding power and glory we fall before also interacts with us. And He does so with love.

 

Charles Spurgeon said, “To dwell with God is better than life at its best; life at ease, in a palace, in health, in honour, in wealth, in pleasure; yea, a thousand lives are not equal to the eternal life which abides in Jehovah’s smile…the withdrawal of the light of his countenance is as the shadow of death to us.”

 

The love of God can never be taken for granted it is only inconsequential to someone who has no vision of the Holiness of God when you see God is holy and then you see how he loves you you will have truly begun with God

 

Seeing God’s power and glory made David fall on his face, like it did Isaiah.  But seeing this same glorious and mighty God loving you makes you stand up and sing.  Verse 5, “with singing lips my mouth will praise you”. Then verse 7 David knows God loves him because God protects him, “Because you are my help I sing in the shadow of your wings.”  He sings from his place of safety.  

 

Application:  Thank God for the blessing of dissatisfaction – dissatisfaction with the things of this world.  As we lost our joy, our contentment, our satisfaction in worldly things our thirst drove us to God.  That emptiness left inside of us that everything else we tried couldn’t fill, caused our souls to ache, caused us to have spiritual hunger-pangs.  Oh what a blessing from God to take away our enjoyment of all these other things that kept us distracted from Him! What a favor to us that He emptied those things of their fulfillment in us so that we became painfully aware that we were empty and something was missing in our lives.  Oh and we began to seek Him. “Knock and it will be opened. Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find” Jesus said.

 

Come,” Isaiah 55 says, “all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare”  

 

David said it too in Psalm 63:5, “My soul will be satisfied with the richest of foods.”  They are not talking about physical food! They are talking about the favors and blessings God gives to those who turn to Him and look to Him for their satisfaction.  

 

#3:  Seek God’s Satisfaction (1, 6, 8)

The thing about David is that he is moving towards God.  He’s not strolling, he’s not walking. He’s got urgency in his feet, and distress in his face.  He is looking for something specific – “Someone” to be more accurate. He is looking for God. He’s on the move seeking out the God of his satisfaction.  Notice now 3 aspects of his seeking God.

 

First, its his priority before anything else.  “Earnestly I seek you”…. .literally “at dawn”, its his first priority of the day to seek God, “he will not wait…he is up at cockcrowing to meet his God.  Communion with God is so sweet that the chill of the morning is forgotten and the luxury of the couch is despised.” Spurgeon, 13 When we taste of God’s satisfaction we too will “earnestly seek” Him.  It will be how we greet the dawn. Or maybe we should say it will be how we Greet God with the dawn.

 

To explain why we haven’t made God our priority it may be that we have not yet gotten a glimpse of the God David saw.  Do we worship a God we have not seen? “God, you are my God.” There is only one God and yet all over the world people do not worhsip Him as the one true God.  When David says O God, he is acknowledging the objective fact of God’s existence as the only God, but, then David declares that he has chosen to worship that Him personally.  “God, I worship you and acknowledge you as the true God and you are my God. I worship no one else but you.”

 

Second, seeking God was David’s biggest distraction from everything else.  “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night”.  Oh how backwards we get it: we constantly get distracted from God by everything else:  our frustrations and angers; our worries, our fears, our concerns; our recreations, hopes and dreams and so on.  Isn’t it amazing how anything and everything can keep us up at night – except thinking about God?

 

Not David.  He lost sleep because in the night he couldn’t stop thinking about God.  This is why he is eternally famous as the man after God’s heart. Its because it was David’s heart that was after God.  

 

Third, seeking God was for safety.  “My soul clings to you”  David knew God as his personal protector, his safe-space, his shelter.  There, under the shadow of God’s wing, David’s desire for assurance and safety were satisfied.  God would watch over him and keep him from his enemies. Protection, shelter, safety, rest, 

 

Take-Aways

  1. Resisting sin happens by finding satisfaction in God.  In moments of temptation remembering God’s delights and turning to Him is a sure way to put down the impulse for sin.  Resisting Temptation hapoens by delighting yourself in God. Affirming to youeaelf that God is yourtruesatisfaction, not that sin
  2. Evangelism comes more naturally and easily when God is your delight.  We talk about that which we enjoy.  If we are enjoying the delights of God we will much more easily talk about Him to others.  
  3. Satisfaction makes us worship.  Can we worship a God we don’t find our satisfaction and delight in?    
  4. Don’t forfeit the highest satisfaction for a lower satisfaction.  Satisfaction in God can be eroded by making other things too important to us.  Those things don’t even have to be sin, they can be good things themselves, that do actually bring us joy and satisfaction themselves.  But, out of balance, and made to be too high of a priority in our lives, and we will find God withholding the blessings in our souls of His one of a kind satisfaction.  It’s called putting something before God.  

 

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