“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice” (Psalm 63:5-7).
Like a man who rises from the table completely satisfied after a large meal, there is no deeper satisfaction than God and His presence. And remember this Psalm was written by King David, who could have any delicacy or good food at any size or amount he desired. It’s as if King David is saying the presence of God filled him up and brought complete contentment.
King David goes to sleep at night with a smile in his heart. His meditation of the presence of God is not some fleeting thought as he puts his head on the pillow. We know that because he talks about doing this “in the night watches.” Guards on night duty worked in three-hour shifts, because the night was divided into three watches. It’s as if King David is saying every time he wakes up, the presence of God was before him.
In his commentary on Psalms, W.S. Plumer observes,
“Such is the nature of true religion and the power of divine grace, that it gets good out of all evil, and turns even a sleepless night to some valuable account. Blessed is the man, who has learned the art of not wasting precious hours in the night watches, although he may be denied the repose, which his weary nature demands.”
David’s praise for God was based on his first-hand experiences of God’s goodness and assistance.
God’s presence is certainly not something we can flee. And why would we? Unfortunately, His presence is not something we always invite when we are in the desert. Why? Because we know how easily prone we are to live in ways that aren’t pleasing to Him when we are during trouble. We know how susceptible we are to sin when things challenge us and if we can have the feeling of no accountability it somehow makes us feel more comfortable.
And yet, David doesn’t shy away from the presence of God. King David is content because he knows how he stands before God and he has come to realize that contentment is to be based on our position in Christ, not our personal predicament.