Read Psalm 42:1-2
“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (v. 2).
The writer has apparently been prevented from attending the temple due to uncontrollable circumstances. His enforced absence has brought pain akin to the excruciating pangs of thirst. He longs to be in the house of God with the people of God. John Phillips contrasts this attitude with the “many excuses people invent for absenting themselves from the place of public worship.” It was not so with the psalmist. But the craving for the house of God perhaps is reflective of his inner soul need for the living God. Charles Spurgeon identifies the soul as “his very self, his deepest life” which had an insatiable desire for the divine presence. Deny him his Lord and “his heart heaves, his bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed like one gasps for breath or pants with long running.” Spurgeon then sagely observes, “The next best thing to living in the light of the Lord's love is to be unhappy till we have it.” This desire is both learned in experience and instinctive in God's created children. Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, and Christian philosopher penned these lines: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator through Jesus Christ.” May our daily prayer seek His presence in heart and sanctuary. (William Snider)

*“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you”* (St. Augustine).

This devotional is the Tuesday, July 11, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.