If this is your first verse with us, welcome! This week, we’re memorizing Psalm 63:1!
📖 Background about the Psalms
🏃♂️ Passage context for Psalm 63: On the run
🙏 A reading and prayer to set the tone
🎵 A song to help you memorize this week
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
(Use our free web app to help you memorize in your favorite translation. Instructions to set it up are at the bottom of this email.)
Author & Book Context: The Psalms ✍️
What: The Psalms are a collection of Ancient Hebrew poems, songs & prayers
When: They were written across a 1,000-year period ranging from the lifetime of Moses in the wilderness (1440—1400 BC) to Ezra (fourth century BC)
Each of the 150 Psalms generally fits into one of these 6 categories:
Lament, Praise Hymns, Thanksgiving, Kingship & Covenant Psalms, Songs of Trust, and Wisdom Psalms
Psalm 63 is a Song of Trust (you’ll soon learn why!)
Passage context: David on the Run 🏃♂️
Your Bible likely has a note underneath the title of Psalm 63 that reads:
A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
Most scholars believe David wrote this when he was being hunted by King Saul (1 Samuel 21), OR during his brief exile from the throne due to the rebellion of his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15).
Either way, one thing is clear: David was on the run, literally hiding for his life.
David had real earthly enemies…actively trying to kill him.
Connecting with the context 🔗
In today’s world, it’s common to see news about wars & shootings, tv shows involving murder mysteries and violent video games.
Meanwhile, most of us have never experienced what it feels like to be on the run for our lives.
The result? It’s easy to gloss over “A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness” and not think much of it.
But in order to get all that God has for us in this Psalm, we need to let that sink in.
Use your imagination. Try to feel the weight of this dire circumstance and put yourself in that headspace as you engage with our passage this week.
Apply & respond: Don’t Waste Hard Times 🏃♂️
When you’re experiencing difficult circumstances (relational tension, struggles at work, financial stress, sickness), our instinct can be to simply pray for God to fix the circumstance and nothing else:
Lord, please make it better. Make the problem go away. Take this hardship away so I can get back to life as usual.
We absolutely can and should pray boldly for God to intervene in our lives.
But there’s a version of prayer where we reduce God to a genie who we only call on simply to fix our perceived problems.
And when we do this, we can miss out on the work God wants to do in us in the midst of what we’re going through.
🚫 Don’t waste hard times
When I was going through a difficult season with work last year, a mentor challenged me, saying: Don’t waste hard times.
Since then, anytime I’m experiencing hardship, I do my best to pray something along the lines of:
Lord, don’t let me waste this hardship by just trying to get out from under it. Use this circumstance to refine me and mold me into the person you created me to be.
Lord, as I memorize Psalm 63:1 this week, speak to me and give me ears to hear your voice. Show me what work you want to do in my heart. Amen.
Read Psalm 63 slowly, preparing your heart to be worked on this week.
Bonus: Read it out loud with a friend or loved one.
Ever wonder why you can remember lyrics from a song you haven’t heard in 20 years? What if we could use that to help us memorize Scripture?
Occasionally, we there are songs we find that can help us soak in the verse we’re memorizing.
Here is one that’s a bit more folksy than previous songs we’ve shared - the lyrics pull from the entirety of Psalm 63.
See you in your inbox tomorrow as we dig deeper into the vivid imagery and deep meaning of Psalm 63:1!
Isaac (left) and Kieran (right)
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