Vs. 1-2 show David seeking God;
Vs. 3-6 show David satisfaction with God;
Vs. 7-8 acknowledge God’s past help;
Vs. 9-11 state David’s faith in God’s present help;
This Psalm of David fits with his flight through a wilderness of Judah from his rebellious son, Absalom (2 Samuel 15:14-30). Many beautiful Psalms are written out of duress or trouble, and show how humble and frail we really are. Some of the best times to worship God are when we are at our lowest.
Verses 1-2: David’s personal relationship with God (“my God”), his eagerness (“Early”), his deep desire (“soul thirsts,” “my flesh longs”), describe his need to find God (“in the sanctuary”). “Sanctuary” is a sacred place appointed by God for His presence to be represented. God told Israel, through Moses; “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it” (Exodus 25:8-9). The “sanctuary” for Christians is not a building, but an assembly of the church of Christ. It was to the “church of God at Corinth” that God said: “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people” (2 Corinthians 1:1; 6:16). Jesus’ followers, like David, are blessed “who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
Verses 3-6: One must truly be blinded to the truth to speak of the Old Testament God as hate-filled and war-mongering, but the New Testament God as loving and forgiving. What, then, happens to David’s reference to this God as having “lovingkindness?” It is “lovingkindness” which prompts David to “praise,” “bless,” and “lift up [his] hands” to God. In “a dry and thirsty land,” David finds spiritual satisfaction (“as with marrow and fatness”); though “there is no water,” David’s mouth can “praise” God; all night long, David can find comfort in God’s care. Physical help did come, however (2 Samuel 17:27-29).
Verses 7-8: Based upon God’s protection in the past (“have been my help”), David again seeks shelter under God’s “wings,” his “soul” following God’s direction, feeling supported by God’s “right hand.” These physical allusions to God as if He had a physical body are purely a human using physical terms to understand how important God really is.
Verses 9-11: To “go into the lower parts of the earth” clearly indicates that David’s enemies would die; and that “they shall fall by the sword” shows their deaths would be connected with violence; and that “they shall be a portion for jackals” predicts their loneliness in death, for their bodies are left to wildlife, which happened in 2 Samuel 18:6-8 . David’s praise for God will continue, but death will stop the “lies” of his persecutors. Solomon’s wisdom would say: “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape” (Proverbs 19:5).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.