Written by: Tim Wood
Psalm 63: 6-11 - Your identity in the desert
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.11 but the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
David finds himself physically, emotionally and spiritually in the desert in this Psalm. It’s dry. It’s lonely. It’s confusing. Remarkably, he’s able to connect with God while he’s experiencing this dryness. He seeks God and praises God with all his heart. In verse 1, he writes, “earnestly I seek you.” The word earnestly can also be translated early. When you couple that with verse 6, “On my bed I remember you” we see that David is seeking God early in the day and late at night. What a lesson for us. Start the day seeking God and end the day remembering Him. Think of Him all through the day. Be perceptive to seeing God’s hand throughout your day and remember Him when you go to bed.
In verse 11 we see the power of worshiping God when David writes, “But the king will rejoice in God.” This is astounding because David is seeing himself as God sees him. David is the God anointed king. Nothing in his life, at this time, would suggest he is a king, but that was God’s calling on his life. Notice he doesn’t say, “I will rejoice in God” but he says, “The king will rejoice in God.” The desert experience becomes a reaffirmation of his real identity. David isn’t letting his circumstances define him; he comes back to God’s calling on his life. That’s the power of worshiping God. Derek Kidner in his commentary on this Psalm writes, “David’s term for himself, ‘The king,’ is a clue to the meaning of the psalm. It is surely more than a synonym for ‘I’ or ‘me.’ Written from his banishment at the hands of Absalom, it becomes a reassertion of his calling. God made David a king…he called him as a king. And he comes back to that calling even though his life is falling apart.” David is crushed, broken in spirit, confused in his mind, but he has a breakthrough by worshiping God. Oh, the power of worshiping God.
The same can happen for us. We can “sing in the shadow of God’s wings" even when our life seems to be falling apart. Our souls were meant to “cling” to God (v.8). Our souls are designed to stick with God no matter what. Seek Him. Praise Him. And watch Him restore your identity even when you’re in the desert!