“My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Psalm 84:2, NIV)
I am participating in an online Bible study based on the book “Made to Crave – Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food,” by Lysa TerKeurst. Each Thursday during the Bible study we will have a list of topics from which we can choose one and write and post a blog. Our verse for this week has been Psalm 84:2 and I have chosen this topic for my first blog.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines yearn as “to long persistently.” I think in this verse it means much more, because the Psalmist (it is believed David wrote Psalm 84 when he was driven out of the land of Absalom) goes on to say “even faints.” He is saying he yearns so desperately for the Lord, that he faints. Have I ever fainted from wanting more of Jesus?
Further study on the word “yearn” revealed additional words found in the Bible as the writers described their desire to know God deeper and more intimately.
“Pant” – “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” (Psalm 42:1) This reminds me of my little Sophie–not a deer–but my sweet little Corgi-mixed puppy. She loves to run outside and catch her favorite “toy of the moment.” But when she’s finished, her tongue hangs out and she pants desperately until she can get to her water bowl and laps up every drop. Have I ever been so thirsty for God, that I panted for Him?
“Hunger and Thirst” – “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matt.5:6). My pastor is teaching a series on Wednesday nights on the Sermon on the Mount and he discussed verse six this week. He asked if anyone had ever known true hunger and true thirst. Our answer was a unanimous “no” because we live in America where, for us, food and water are in abundance. Certainly, I’ve never been so hungry or thirsty that I’ve fainted. God is a God of righteousness. Have I ever been so hungry and thirsty that I’ve cried out for God and is righteousness?
Finally, there is the phrase “cry out.” Again, looking to the dictionary, the word “cry” means “a loud vocal expression of strong emotion.” This seems a rather tame definition compared to what I believe David meant. “My heart and my flesh ‘roar’ for the living God.” “My heart and my flesh ‘bellow,’ ‘scream,’ ‘yell’ for the living God. How many times have I truly roared or screamed or yelled for God–not out of desperation for a situation I might have been in–but in desperation for Him?
Are you desperate enough?
Abba Father, make us more desperate for You. Increase our hunger and thirst until we are aware of Your presence every second of every hour of every day. Father, we crave You, knowing only You can fill us, satisfy us. Fill us, satisfy us today. We love You Jesus. It is Your most precious Name, the Name above all names that I pray, Amen.