Read aloud this desperate and heartfelt prayer with me;
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.(Psalm 42)
* What happened to the Psalmist? How did he get to this place of desperation? It could be unconfessed sin, but the text doesn’t say anything like that. Perhaps he had gotten sick, or was tired or discouraged. We are more than Spiritual beings, sometimes the physical can be a huge factor in our wellbeing.
* It could just be that we have a God who often sovereignly hides His presence from us, that we might seek Him, and see our need for Him.
* It is evident that the Psalmist had been somehow cut off from participation in the public worship, and this hurt him deeply.
* We have a constant need for the means of grace, and for the renewed presentation of the vision of God.
* Another painful thing about this experience, He was surrounded by taunting and godless people.
*What did he do about it? He preached to himself! As Martyn Lloyd Jones used to say, “Don’t listen to yourselves, talk to yourself!”.
* Thirst like this is actually a gift from God…for it draws upwards, and causes us to want something that this world cannot give us…thus it draws us heavenwards.
* Our God recognizes this(he made us to be motivated this way)so he makes it into an offer at the end of the Bible;
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.(Revelation 22:17)
The message of the Holy Spirit and of the true church who is the Bride of Christ, is to the thirsty, to come and drink deeply and freely of the waters of Life, which flow out of the smitten Rock, the Messiah Jesus.
* What a sad and cruel hoax, when the apostate church presents false prophets such as Rodney Howard Browne, Rick Joyner, Rob Bell, and others as the answer to spiritual thirst! “Come drink at Joel’s place!”,as they staggered about, supposedly ‘drunk in the Spirit’, as if they were initiating revival. Where are these churches now in the hour of the world’s deepest crisis? They are irrelevant, empty tombs. But they have manged to turn millions of once thirsty sinners into cynics!
*Do you remember when the water was too brackish to drink, out in the wilderness in the days of Moses our teacher? What were the instructions he was given? Take the tree, cut it down and throw it into the water…and the water will become sweet again. Is that not the story of our lives? The cross of Jesus applied to the brackish pit that is our lives, now yields the sweet, life-giving water of life!
* Reconciliation with God is so refreshing! Like drinking water after years of health destroying soda or Koolaid, so forgiveness of sins, adoption, true worship and communion with God does restore our souls.
* But Jeremiah tells us that God has a double controversy with His people, 1) they have forsaken Him, the fountain of living water, and 2) they have hewn out their own cisterns which can’t really hold water. Is this not true of todays church? How much of Spiritual activity is really based upon seeking after God himself? Why have we forsaken God’s “old paths” of preaching the Word, calling men to repentance and warning of hell and judgment”? INstead we have ‘skits’ to entertain the bored flock.
* Some people are thirsty but unquenchable. This is because they really don’t want the God of the Bible. They have a void, but have already ruled God out of the equation. This thirst takes them into false religion, mysticism, sexual hedonism, and a variety of other human experiences that prove unsatisfactory. Satan has a minstrel named Mick Jagger who sings of it, when he wails, “I can’t get no satisfaction….”
* Others are thirsty because they have tasted God, but are currently in a dry place in their pilgrimages. They need to be renewed in God and know it, thus they seek Him.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.(Psalm 63:1-4)
* Finally there is a kind of “satisfied thirst” of One who knows God and constantly resorts to Hm. He isn’t always looking for something else, for He knows that God himself is what he needs. There is a cycle of thirst, the more I drink, the more I want.
Drink deeply of Him who was smitten for our Life my friends, and have a good Sunday!