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Psalm 63

The introduction to Psalm 63 tells us David wrote it while hiding in the desert of Judah.  This happened when he ran from Saul (1 Samuel 23:14-29) and Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13-37).  In both cases, David ran from family that tried to kill him.  Uprooted from his home in the barren wilderness with no certainty of provision, safety, or return, David displays confidence in the Lord and worships Him.  David’s worship of the Lord in normal times allowed him to worship the Lord in abnormal ones.  His habit of seeking the Lord kicked in while in the desert when he couldn’t worship in the sanctuary.  Our regular worship will cause us to praise the Lord during irregular times.

Instead of complaining to the Lord, David worshipped the Lord.  Even in the desert, while being chased by his (and the Lord’s) enemy, David prioritized worship.  When life gets crazy and stressful, people often skip worship to focus on the problem at hand.  Not David.  He continued his worship pattern and brought his situation into it.  He “earnestly” sought the Lord (v. 1).  He didn’t cut his worship time or halfway go through the motions because he was busy in the desert. His circumstance increased his thirst for God.  It seems his circumstance illustrated that thirst (read verse 1).  David had routinely worshipped God in the sanctuary (v. 2a).  Now, he couldn’t be “in church” because of an extreme circumstance.  He knew God’s “power and glory” (v. 2b) extended beyond the sanctuary walls.  We should regularly worship in the sanctuary with God’s people (Hebrews 10:25) and only miss for extreme circumstances. 

Even in the desert, with the enemy out to assassinate him, he sang loud (vv. 3, 5, 7) and lifted his hands (v. 4).  Some “advisors” may have told him to be quiet and put his weapons back in his hand as the enemy could attack at any moment.  David would have worshipped instead. Loving the Lord was better than living (v. 3).  He didn’t know how much time he had left, but whatever it was, David was going to praise the Lord in the moment instead of waiting till the moment got better (v. 4).  He could even lay down at night in security and think about the Lord instead of the possible danger lurking in the darkness (vv. 6-7).  The Lord had him with His right hand of power, provision, and protection (verse 8).  David had a spiritual thirst (v. 1) and an appetite for “the richest of foods” (v. 5).  Praise was his food, and worship was his drink.  He hungered and thirsted for righteousness and was filled (Matthew 5:6). David wasn’t praying general theoretical prayers of protection and deliverance.  David trusted the Lord to take care of an actual enemy while living in the most desolate conditions (vv. 9-10).  David could rejoice and give God glory (v. 11) when the heat (literally) was turned up in a season of uncertainty because of his worship-filled lifestyle in everyday life.


  1. Will your current pattern of worship sustain you and remain when trouble comes?
  2. Do you skip worship in the sanctuary with God’s people only in extreme situations?
  3. Will you allow the Lord to take you through a desert experience or two to test and increase your devotion to Him?


Lord, I desire to praise You in the sanctuary and the desert.  You are my food and drink – my sustenance.  “Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You (v.3).  Help me praise You in good times so I’ll praise You in the bad.  Help me praise You in the bad to show I truly trust You.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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