A short reading and prayers for today
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 NLT
This psalm was almost certainly penned by King David after he had fled from his son Absalom who had attempted to take over his father’s throne. It was an agonising situation. Absalom was David’s third son and was a great favourite of his father. Absalom was charming and handsome and clearly loved the life of pomp and ceremony. We learn that he drove in a magnificent chariot with fifty men running in front of him. After a while the power went to his head and he decided to rebel against his father. It would be hard to imagine anything more terrible. To be betrayed by anyone is an appalling experience but to be betrayed by your own much loved son must have been almost too awful to bear. In despair David fled to the desert and had time to reflect on what mattered most in his life. He was absolutely clear that his relationship with the living God was everything to him. “Your unfailing love is better than life,” he concluded (Psalm 63.3)
You and I have probably never been through an experience quite as devastating as David’s. But all times of disappointment and tragedy, however they are caused, can help us to reflect on life’s priorities in an intense way. David’s relationship with God was clearly central to his life and so in the moment of despair his gaze was fixed on the perfection of God’s love and provision. And as he did so, he recognised that even in this most extreme of circumstances God was able to meet his needs. None of us knows what the future holds, and so we need to ensure that we keep our relationship with God strong all the time.
What have you learned about God in the tough times that you have experienced?
God our Father, thank you that you can always satisfy our deepest needs and that you never leave our side. Amen
As you heard the prayer of Isaac and Rebekah, O God, and guided them in the way of your love, so listen now to those who call upon you. Move us to praise your gracious will, for in Christ Jesus you have saved us from the deeds of death and opened for us the hidden ways of your love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.