A Thirst for God

I think about Psalm 42 and what it means to thirst for God, the Living God (verse 2). It’s so curious to note the cause of thirst and the soul-dehydrating experiences of the psalmist. He recounts his tears, his longing for a past to which he cannot return, and his disturbed and downcast soul. He’s looking inward, not outward to whatever God might promise. He’s soul thirsty.


This summer in my Old Testament course, I learned how, in the ancient world, water mattered more than anything else. Finding water meant thriving bodies, crops, and livestock. The pagan religions focused on pleasing the gods to guarantee rain. Yet the psalmist isn’t thirsty for this most practical and physically sustaining element. He thirsts for the Living God who brings a hope far greater than bodily thriving and material prosperity. What matters most is that he might “meet with God.” What matters is the blessing of God that far surpasses whatever else it is we think we need.

We thirst for Jesus. We say, along with the psalmist, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” And today, we can meet with Him right now, wherever we are, in whatever condition of thirst. He becomes our living water now.

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