The Preacher, from generation following that of our Psalm, made a powerful point that bears relation to this text. He gave brief discourse on the truth that there is time and place for everything. But,… even though it appears that everything is in constant state of change, this way of life, present mode of existence isn’t the ultimate – something is missing, lacking from human life as we know it.
Ecc. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
“…there is the fact, that the man who is thus tossed about, from one changing thing to another, has relations to something more lasting than the transient. He lives in a world of fleeting change, but he has ‘eternity’ in ‘his heart.’ So between him and his dwelling-place, between him and his occupations, there is a gulf of disproportion. He is subjected to these alternations, and yet bears within him a repressed but immortal consciousness that he belongs to another order of things. …He possesses stifled and misinterpreted longings which, however starved, do yet survive, after unchanging Being and eternal Rest.” Alexander MacLaren
Today” show anchor Anne Curry said, “Apparently Harrison was the most spiritual of the group [speaking of the Beatles]; in a recent interview he said, ‘Everything else in life can wait, but the search for God cannot wait.’”
Sadly, seems George Harrison was looking for God in all the wrong places; however, correctly identified mankind’s greatest need, also that satisfying that need should be #1 priority. Much of what goes on in world that is wrong: simply the expression of evil, how sinners behave because they’re sinners. But there’s another driving force behind pursuit of stuff and pleasure and significance – trying to fill that “eternity in their hearts” that can only be fully satisfied with God.
Here’s why – nothing the world offers brings satisfaction to the soul; everything the world offers has expiration date. One who has found peace with God understands that; man, woman, boy or girl who has been born from above has soul with new disposition – soul that craves God, that is contented with God, that clings to God.
A. the craving soul v.1-4
the soul that knows truly what it needs will crave God, not be content until it possesses God
problem: too many have the craving but either are either ignorant of or reject out of hand the One who will satisfy
ignorant in sense they don’t believe true God is the right answer; don’t make the association between their felt need and solution to their true need
those who have some understanding of truth, its right application, understand some of the consequences, refuse to go there
solution: when God has graciously brought us to life, restored eyesight and understanding, we will
eagerly seek — thirst — long for him (1)
craving that will not wait – can’t wait ’til after breakfast; must pursue the object as early as possible
craving that knows only one solution – for one in desert, only fresh water will effectively satisfy thirst
all-consuming (soul and body) craving that won’t be denied or diverted – an intense longing for God that’s a whole-body experience
intense because it’s life and death issue, just like body’s need for water
not simply looking in to see if God is still there; it’s looking with intent to perceive something – meditating on God’s power as we have witnessed it, his glory as he has displayed it
think of greatest display imaginable in nature – got it? – compared to God’s power, it’s nothing; he spoke and bigger than that happened!
right priorities once again – life without experiencing God’s loyal love hardly counts as living
having experienced God’s loyal love, can do no less than praise
God’s unfailing mercy is unending cause for praise expressed in prayer
cannot take for granted, must remember dependence; also,…for true child, a taste of God isn’t enough
remember Paul – that I may know him…. Phil. 3:8-14
desire / craving doesn’t stop, isn’t satisfied with simple knowledge – and…and…and
B. the contented soul v.5-7
the soul that has found God is content knowing he has acquired the only source of true satisfaction
rich provision leads to rousing praise (5)
God doesn’t shop in the no-brand aisle; only supplies the best, the choicest, what is most fit to meet the need
contentment leads to continuous contemplation (6)
no need or just reason to think about anyone or anything else than God and his goodness
thanking, praising for his greatness and goodness to us, interceding for others, that they would experience it, too
remembrance of God as helper leads to joyful song (7)
sung from a particular vantage point: acute awareness of being under God’s sheltering care
remember Mary – “one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice.” HCSBLuke 10:39-42
Mary had number of potential distractions, good and rewarding things she could have chosen in way of service; instead, was content to focus on the one thing, the best thing
C. the clinging soul v.8-11
the soul satisfied with God will never be fully satisfied in this life even though we can have as much of him as we desire – continually seeks more of God
was wrong of Edmund to want more Turkish Delight from Queen of Narnia; not wrong to crave more of God
Benjamin Keach’s catechism tells why:
Q. 1. Who is the first and best of beings? A. God is the first and best of beings.
is right to have ongoing insatiable appetite, unquenchable thirst for “the first and best of beings”, to crave well of living water which Lord Jesus promised to give – John 4:14
two different images: pursuit and parenting (8)
following hot on the heels, determined not to let get away (1st half of verse) – desire
desire tries to keep object in view – sweetheart, peanut butter cup, good book, strong enemy on the run, strong ally on the run, in this case God
parent and child, holding hands (entire verse) – dependence
there’s fellowship, encouragement, guidance, conversation; there’s also willingness to go same way, at same pace
in picture, weaker of two also dependent for strength and safety; weaker one may be gripping as tightly as possible, but it is God’s strength that determines level of security
clinging to God provides different perspective – seeing from His point of view
Deut. 32:9-10 “For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.”
“the little man of his eye” – are you close enough to Jesus to see the little man in his eye? when you are, what happens to your surroundings?
the ultimate destiny of the wicked (9-10)
matters not how hard enemies pursue – sin, sinners, or Satan; if God’s right hand is upholding us, that’s all that counts
this life vs next life – same pattern for both righteous and wicked,… but with one huge difference
this life isn’t all there is for either righteous or evil; what individual does in this life has impact on next life for both
righteous can lay up treasure in heaven during life to be enjoyed later; wicked can lay up dishonor and its consequences to be endured later
the wicked are to be pitied and prayed for, not feared – that they repent of their evil, turn in faith to Christ while it is Today
the glory of God (11)
there is joy in following God – his yoke is easy, his burden light (Matt. 11:30), his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)
his followers will not be disappointed because God wins – even greatest enemy of all, sin and it’s sting, what gives death it’s power, will completely disappear in victory (1 Cor. 15:54-57)
remember Moses – if I have found grace in your sight, show me your glory Ex. 33:12-23
Moses had more intimate personal experience of God, more opportunities to satisfy craving than any other in that time
desired death rather than life without God’s favor (Ex. 32:32 ); refused to leave Sinai without God’s Presence (Ex. 33:15); met with God in his tent, spoke face to face as with friend (Ex. 33:11); had all that, begged for more
if God’s goodness is good, his glory will be infinitely better – not simply seeing his glory (v.2) but experiencing it without any hindrance awaits us in next life
We are frail, sinful creatures; means we run hot and cold and lukewarm on even the best things. One reason why this psalm is included: to remind us of how we should be, encourage us to fuel the flame of our passion for God. Paul in final pastoral letter began by encouraging Timothy:
2 Tim. 1:6 I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you.
Stoke the fire, don’t let it die down or go out. Reading and hearing God’s Word, singing good hymns, caring brothers and sisters – all blessings from God to encourage us, that we not be satisfied with anything less than God.