- A psalm of David.1 It’s about the time he spent in the Judah Wilderness.2
I’m running on empty
- 1 Lord, you are my God.
I’ve been looking for you.
I thirst for you
Like parched land thirsts for water.
- 2 I’ve seen you at the Temple3
In displays of awesome power.
- 3 Your love means more to me than life.
I’ll say it again and again.
- 4 As long as I live, I’ll praise you,
Raising my hands and calling your name.
- 5 You fill my soul to bursting.
My smiling lips sing your praises.
- 6 I remember you at bedtime.
My thoughts dwell on you at night.
- 7 You’re the help I could count on.
So, here I am singing for joy
Under the shadow of your wings.
- 8 My spirit won’t let go of you.
And you won’t let go of me.
A grave for my enemies
- 9 Anyone who tries to kill me
Will end up dead as dirt in the bottom of a grave.
- 10 Swords will gut and splay them.
Wild dogs will eat them.
- 11 But the king will be happy, and thanking God.
So will all God’s people.
But folks who lie will soon shut up.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
David spent time in the Judean Wilderness off and on during the time he lived as a refugee, on the run from King Saul (1 Samuel 23:15). The king had gone a bit crazy with jealously over the popularity of David the Giant Killer, who killed the Philistine champion warrior, Goliath, in mortal combat.
Literally, “sanctuary.” If David wrote this song, Jews were still worshiping in a tent worship center. David’s son Solomon built the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem.