Daily Devotions


Day 45

A Classic Example

Text: Matthew 5 : 1 - 12

A classic example of what it means to hunger and thirst after God may be found in Psalm 42. This Psalm was written by the sons of Korah, of the tribe of Levites.

“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalm 42:1-2

1. A well-chosen illustration

The picture of a deer in great thirst, searching for water was the psalmist’s choice of imagery depicting spiritual thirst. As the deer is driven to find water because of its desperate need, so the soul thirsts for the living God.

2. A powerful desire

The power of thirst is so great that it would cause the deer to run for miles, in search for water. The deer sniffs the air and it smells water. The thought of quenching its thirst becomes an over-powering desire. The soul that truly hungers and thirsts after righteousness will also be driven by a power desire to seek after God.


The psalmists went one step further to describe the idea of intense longing for God.

“My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
‘Where is your God?'”
Psalm 42:3

Not everybody will understand this thirst for God. There will be those who mock this intense desire to seek the Lord. These would even hurl painful taunts in the direction of the believer in his search for God. The reply of the searcher for God is “tears day and night”.

He weeps that he cannot find God. However, he does not get discouraged. He is prepared to weep day and night if needs be, just as long as he finds God at the end!


What happens if the search for God takes up much time, and yet that thirst for God is not satisfied? The psalmists also addressed this question.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me…”
Psalm 42:5-6a

The searcher for God experiences near-depression in his soul’s longing to come into the presence of the Lord. There is disquiet in the heart. The soul is “cast down”. The searcher for God however refuses to be discouraged by his feelings. He exercises much faith in his search for God. He believes that God would allow Himself to be found by the sincere searcher who relentlessly seeks Him.


With fervent hope and trust in the Lord, the psalmists pressed on in the quest to enter into the Presence of God.

“The Lord will command His lovingkindness
in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me –
A prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalm 42:8

There must be a strong sense of hope when one thirsts after God. There must be that faith that He will command His lovingkindness to be revealed to the earnest searcher. (The word “lovingkindness” in the Old Testament has its equivalence in the word “grace” in the New Testament writings).

The psalmist expresses confidence that God will bless the searcher openly and in the most obvious manner. This is the idea conveyed in the phrase, “in the daytime”. God would respond to the genuine searcher in the night season as well. He would grant to him a song in the night. The searcher would never cease to quest after God in prayer!

The searcher will find God if the thirst is real and powerful. Thus the psalmist concludes with this firm statement of faith.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”
Psalm 42:11

The searcher strengthens his soul in his quest to seek God. He rebukes his soul for being so easily discouraged. He urges his soul to believe in the hope that he has in his heart. He looks forward to the day when he would come to the end of his quest. God would reveal Himself. Then there would be great praise in the heart indeed.


The would-be disciple can succeed in his quest to discover the Lord and His righteousness if he has this passion so well described in Psalm 42. To all sincere searchers for God, Jesus promised, “They shall be filled”.