The introduction to Psalm 63 says that this is a psalm of David written when he was in the Desert of Judea.
You, God, are my God,
This was a difficult time in David’s life. He was on the run from Saul who was out to kill him over his own jealousy of David’s success.
And so David fled to the desert for safety. But the desert is a dangerous place on its own. There’s snakes and scorpions… and of course, there’s no food or water.
So where did David go to survive?
The scripture says that David went to a place in the Desert of Judea called En Gedi.
The area of En Gedi is one of the most beautiful places in all of Palestine. It has many trees, and waterfalls, and pools, and caves… and hyraxes (Google them, they’re cute). And this is where King David and his men hid when they were being pursued by Saul.
En Gedi is an Oasis in the desert, fed my many springs the bubble up out of the ground. And the water from these springs is pure – it’s referred to as “living water.”
“Living water” is also the way in which God refers to himself. He tells his people to come to Him, the spring of living water, and he will also make springs of living water flow out of them. You see, he wants us to share the life and hope that he’s given to us with others.
In Jeremiah, God accuses his people of abandoning Him, the spring of living water, and exchanged him for cisterns – pits in the ground that held muddy water and that didn’t hold that water very well at times, letting it lea out. And Jeremiah says how foolish to exchange the God of En Gedi, the God of the oasis in the desert, for the god of the muddy leaky pit in the ground. He says that the names of those who forsake the spring of living water will be written in the desert dust. And like the desert dust, the hot wind will blow them away.
Because what else do you have in the desert if you give up the oasis? You have nothing but dust.
And so when David wrote Psalm 63, he was in the desert, both figuratively as he was on the run from Saul, as well as literally. And David learns that in the desert, he has nothing. He has absolutely nothing going for him but God. And he learns to rely of God for everything. He learns to thirst for God in the painful desert of his life. Because without God, what else does he have?