Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Title: Seeking God In The Wilderness Of Our Lives
By: Pastor Isaac Yim
King David wrote this Psalm in the Judean wilderness. He was running from the pursue of his son Absalom, who wanted to be king in his place. This Psalm describes how he feels in his heart. He misses the presence of God. He was in the desert (v 1), the tabernacle (v 2), and on his bed (v 6). The wilderness illustrates the hard and trying times of David. It is in the wilderness of David’s life when he earnestly longed for the intimate fellowship with God.
David genuinely thirsted for God. I believe that’s the wisest thing we can do to emulate David, when we are going through the wilderness of our lives. We must turn to God and affirm our faith in Him like David did, who cried out to God, “O God, you are my God”. Jesus invites us who are thirsty to come to Him. The water He gives can satisfy our deepest longing in the wilderness of our lives. Jesus offers rest to the weary.
David praised God despite his adverse circumstance. In verse 2, David recalled his past experience in the tabernacle, where people gathered to worship God. It was in the tabernacle that he witnessed the power and glory of God. When we are down, our tendency is to look around at all our hardships, difficulties, obstacles and everything that is negative and insurmountable. Instead of that, David looked up to God and recalled the miraculous things God had done for Israel and for him in particular. He then burst out in praise!
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” (Psa. 63:3).
In the presence of God, King David in his rich experiences in life, realised that nothing compares to the steadfast love of God; nor God’s loving kindness, nor God’s grace nor God’s favour. He is the King of Israel, yet he testified about his God that “Your steadfast love is better than life.” He had a pleasant life. He looked around and nothing compares to his God, “Your loving kindness is better than life.” He had sinned but he received pardon from God. His sin had caused him sleepless nights and awful distress but he confessed his sin to God and found forgiveness. He cried out in praise, “Your favour is better than life.” He became king at the age of forty and he reigned for another 40 years. He was in his sixties now. He wanted to leave a legacy for the future that would last and he found it in the steadfast love of God. At the time of writing this Psalm, he was facing great disappointments from his son Absalom and others and he was disappointed with himself many times. Yet he would say that God’s love is better than life.
In the New Testament, Paul would say it in another way,
“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)
Paul went on with his dedication and commitment to God with these words,
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Phil. 3:8)
A great Gospel soloist in all of Billy Graham’s Crusade, George Beverly Shea, found a poem written by Mrs Rhea Miller, I RATHER HAVE JESUS left on the piano by his mother. He immediately composed music to this poem. The same morning, he sang it at his father’s church service. In 1922, at the age of 23, George had a hard decision to make. He could accept a lucrative job offered to him by a radio station with a great salary and wide respect, or he could continue to sing in churches and Christian radio stations. This famous Gospel Hymn is another testimony by George that “His loving kindness is better than life.”
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land,
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause,
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom,
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead
Prayer for Today
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” (Blaise Pascal)
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.” (Augustine of Hippo)
1. Wandering in the wildness of your life, I encourage you to lift up your head unto the Lord, pour out your feelings to Him who knows you deeply and intimately.
2. Fill your heart and mind with the Word of God – the Bible.
3. Be encouraged you are not alone; He is by your side.
4. Join the church so that we can reach out to each other.
Our Father in Heaven, we thank you that you journey with us daily. Lord, you know where we are, you know how we feel, you know us deeply and intimately. We long for you in the dried and thirsty wilderness in the New Normal after the Covid-19. Grant us rest, give us refreshment that enables us to walk on knowing that “Your steadfast love is better than life.” Give us the ability to daily set our priorities to know you deeper, to trust and obey you wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
大卫王在犹大旷野写了这首诗。 他当时正逃离儿子押沙龙的追逐，押沙龙想夺取王位。 这首诗描述了大卫内心的感受。 他怀念上帝的同在。 他在沙漠(v1)、帐幕(v2)和床上(v6)。 旷野代表着大卫艰难的时刻。就是在大卫生命中的旷野中，他恳切地渴望上帝的亲近。
大卫真实地渴望上帝。 我相信当我们在我们生命中的旷野时，最明智的就是模仿大卫的这个行动。 我们必须转向上帝，像大卫一样坚定我们对上帝的信仰，他向上帝喊道，“神啊！祢是我的 神”。 耶稣邀请口渴的人来寻找祂。耶稣赐的活水可以满足我们在旷野中最深的渴望。凡劳苦担重担的人在耶稣里可以得到安息。
大卫王在他丰富的人生经历中意识到，当上帝与他同在时，没有比上帝坚定的爱更重要的了；也没有比上帝的慈爱、恩典、喜悦更重要的。大卫是以色列的王，他却见证他的上帝：“祢的慈爱比生命更好。 ”他的生活美好。他环顾四周，却没有比他上帝更好的，“祢的慈爱比生命更好。 ”他犯过罪，但得到了上帝的赦免。 他的罪让他不眠，痛苦不堪，但他向上帝认罪，并得到了宽恕。他高声赞美：“祢的喜悦比生命更好。”他40岁成为国王，又在位40年。 他现在已经六十几岁了。他想为未来留下一份能延续下去的遗产，他在上帝坚定的爱中找着了。写这本诗篇时，他面临儿子押沙龙和其他人对他的失望，他也对自己失望了好多次。 但他却说，上帝的爱比生命更好。
在葛培理（Billy Graham）牧师的布道活动中的一位伟大的福音音乐独唱家George Beverly Shea，George的母亲把Rhea Miller所写的一段诗放在钢琴上。George读了这首诗并即刻作曲，加上了音乐。同一天早上，他在父亲的教堂礼拜中唱了这首歌。1922年，23岁的George 做出了一个艰难的决定。他需要选择其中一个：拥有高薪、在一个知名的广播台工作；或者继续在教堂和基督教广播台唱歌。这首著名的福音圣诗是George的见证：“祂的慈爱比生命更好。”
2、 思想神的话 – 圣经。