Text: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.”
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Good morning, soul-thirsty Christian! Like the author of these words, you are blessed with a soul that is constantly thirsty for sweet fellowship with the Living Lord God. Being made thus thirsty, you are consistently and continually found reading and studying the Word of God contained in our KJV Bible, as the Lord commands us to do. The Spiritual thirst you and I have is a blessed gift from the Lord God, for He knows how vitally important it is for all of His children to keep close in fellowship with Him. Praise God for soul-thirsty Christians!
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
“Subject: It is the cry of a man far removed from the outward ordinances and worship of God, sighing for the long-loved house of his God; and at the same time, it is the voice of a Spiritual believer, under depressions, longing for the renewal of the Divine Presence, struggling with doubts and fears, but yet holding his ground by faith in the Living God.” (C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, page 202)
“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord...” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)
Verse 1. “As the hart (deer) panteth after the water books, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. Debarred from public worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek; honour he did not covet; but the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul. He viewed it not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 202)
Spurgeon, ‘the prince of preachers’, portrays David as the author of Psalm 42, and envisages him on the run, with King Saul pursuing hard after him, and forced to hide in caves and lonely desert places, far from the Temple of Jerusalem and thus barred from public worship of the Lord God Jehovah. His heart and very soul thirsts hard for the Lord’s Presence.
Now, take this situation into the present day and gaze with Spiritual eyes upon the sound, born again believer, smitten in latter life perhaps with illness, feebleness, or severe disabilities; lying in ‘shut-in’ circumstances, or a bed of sickness; constantly longing for sweet fellowship and communion with others of ‘...like precious faith...’ in Christ Jesus. This thirsting of the regenerate soul is just the same as David’s was at the time he penned this great Psalm.
Do YOU have a ‘shut-in’ Christian acquaintance you might visit and share fellowship with today? If so, go swiftly to their side and bring them sweet water from the Word.
Yet, the primary thirst that the Psalmist is here manifesting in verse one of Psalm 42, is for close fellowship with the Lord God Himself. We can go without fellowship with other sound believers, but we cannot survive Spiritually without close fellowship with our Saviour Lord God and Friend – Jesus the risen Christ.
“I am the Vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man/woman abideth not in Me (Jesus Christ), he/she is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:5-7)
“Give him/her his God and he/she is content as the poor deer, which at length slakes its thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him/her his Lord, and his/her heart heaves, his bosom palpitates; his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath or pants with long-running.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 202)
It is God’s Presence that makes the feast; nothing else will satisfy the born-again soul!
“Thou wilt show me the path life: in Thy Presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
Verse 2. “My soul thirsteth for God. See that your heart rest not short of Christ in any duty. Let go your hold of no duty until you find something of Christ in it; and until you get not only an handful, but an armful (with old Simeon, Luke 2:28); yea, a heartful of the blessed and beautiful babe of Bethlehem therein. Indeed, you should have commerce with Heaven, and communion with Christ in duty, which is therefore called the Presence of God, or your appearing before Him.
“Augustine said he loved not Tully’s elegant orations (as formerly) because he could not find Christ in them: nor doth a gracious soul love empty duty. Rhetorical flowers and flourishes, expressions without impressions in praying or preaching, are not true bread, but a tinkling cymbal to it.” (Christopher Ness’s ‘Chrystal Mirror’ 1621-1705)
When the altogether lovely Christ Jesus saves our never-dying souls, He spoils us for deep and real and lasting pleasure in any other aspect of our former lives. Our very souls, which He has redeemed by His own precious Blood shed for us at the cruel Cross of Calvary, cry out for close fellowship with Him and the opportunity to worship His Holy Name.
Verse 2. “...For the Living God. A dead ‘god’ is a mere mockery; we loathe such a monstrous deity; but the ever-living God, the perennial fountain of life and light and love, is our soul’s desire.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 203) Hallelujah! Jesus Lives!
Thought: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (The Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 5:6) Only Christ can satisfy the saved soul.