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Psalm chapter 63

What does Psalm chapter 63 mean?

Absalom, one of David's sons, used deception and propaganda to gather followers (2 Samuel 15:1–6, 10–12). When the time was right, Absalom moved on Jerusalem and David was forced to make a hasty retreat (2 Samuel 15:13–14). This led David and those still loyal over the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30) and beyond the Jordan river (2 Samuel 16:14) before they could find rest and safety (2 Samuel 17:27–29). This psalm involves themes highlighted by those events, such as physical thirst, danger, lies, and a need to depend on God.

David begins by expressing his desire to know God as equal to great thirst, such as when someone travels through the desert. Despite his difficult circumstances, he is fully committed to praising the Lord. David's prior experiences had proven that God would provide him with victory and safety (1 Samuel 17:36, 51; 2 Samuel 8:6; Psalm 18:49–50). This confidence was tied to the Lord's promises about David's kingship and those who would inherit it (2 Samuel 7:11–13). Knowing this, David chooses to rely on the Lord for safety and trust in divine power (Psalm 63:1–8).

In contrast, David expects those who have lied and conspired against him to be defeated. In fact, he anticipates them suffering utter defeat. This includes imagery of men falling in battle and their corpses being consumed by scavengers. Those loyal to David, who love the Lord, can expect to celebrate victory. The dishonest ones who have opposed the king, however, will be silenced forever (Psalm 63:9–11).
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