Updated: Apr 3
In 1965 The Rolling Stones cranked out one of the most iconic tunes of all time - I Can't Get No Satisfaction. Jagger's lyrics paint a picture of a man who is truly discontent. He's discontent with all the advertising garbage on the radio and TV. He's even discontent with his rockstar lifestyle with all the supermodels and jet-setting around the world. All of it leaves him empty, broken, and singing, "I can't get no satisfaction."
In stark contrast, King David was absolutely satisfied in God. Psalm 63 opens with context, "A psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah." Then David erupts into song:
God, You are my God;
diligently I seek You!
I thirst for You;
my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate,
and without water.
So I gaze upon You
in the holy sanctuary
to see Your strength
and Your glory!
Despite having to run for his life and hide in the wilderness because of his own son's (Absalom) coup d'etat... despite unemployment, no memory foam mattress or chocolate on his pillow, no heated toilet seat, no running water, no electricity, no central air, no WiFi, no big screen TV, no airpods, no ESPN, no Amazon, no DoorDash, no smartphone, no 401K, and no Keurig coffee machine... despite being separated from his wife, his family, his friends, and his community... David longed for the LORD and was completely satisfied in Him. David's song continues:
My lips will glorify You
because Your faithful love
is better than life!
So I will bless You as long as I live;
at Your Name, I will lift up my hands.
You satisfy me as with rich food;
my mouth will praise You
with joyful lips!
That's not the typical attitude or approach of many Christians today. We'll attend church because we want a social network, friends, or community. We'll plug in, connect, and maybe even serve if it scratches some itch or fills some void. We'll sprinkle a little Jesus on top of our corporatism idol-worshiping lives. We'll add Jesus as if He were some sort of a la carte side dish... and then wonder why our marriage is failing... why parenting is so difficult... why our kids are off the rails... why pronouns are even a thing... and why current events have us feeling like we're stuck in a neverending episode of the Twilight Zone.
Jagger and the Stones are Rock and Roll legends. Yet despite all the money, fame, fortune, women, and wine... all the greatest things the world has to offer... their very souls cried out, "I can't get no satisfaction!" Meanwhile, King David sang in the wilderness:
When I think of You
as I lie in my bed (the floor of a cave),
I meditate on You
during the night watches
because You are my help;
I will rejoice in the shadow
of Your wings.
I follow close to You;
Your right hand holds on to me!
We're living in an unprecedented time of access and ease. Rather than leveraging it all for Christ and His kingdom's advancement... many merely wallow in perpetual discontent. We've become discontent consumers of sermons, religious curmudgeons, church shoppers, and selfish end-users of church programs. How satisfied would our friends and family say we truly are? What's the tone and attitude of our conversations? Many Christians live more like Mick Jagger - spewing anthems of discontent. Sunday mornings we might actually sing, "Jesus we love You," meanwhile our souls declare, "I can't get no satisfaction!"
When King Jesus truly is our Sovereign LORD... when, like David, we diligently seek Him, thirst for Him, and our bodies faint in desperate longing for Him (not His blessings or promises)... when despite betrayal by our closest friends, a pastor, or even our (church)family, despite the surrounding wilderness, despite finding ourselves in the Valley of The Shadow of Death... when we stop and gaze upon Him in His holy sanctuary... when we stop making it about us, our comfort, our fame, and our name... when we marvel in awe at His strength and glory... it invariably produces a lifesong of praise, "because," as David sang, "Your faithful love is better than life. So I will bless You as long as I live!"
King David wraps up Psalm 63 with these words:
But those who intend to destroy my life
will go down into the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the power of the sword;
they will become a meal for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by Him will boast,
for the mouths of liars will be shut.
David wasn't consumed by or gloating over his enemies' inevitable and imminent defeat. In fact, in 2 Sam 18 we read that Absalom is eventually killed by one of David's men. When David hears the news we read in v.33:
The king was shaken and went up to the gate chamber and wept. And as he walked, he cried out, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
When we seek anything - fortune, fame, vengeance, happiness, justice, contentment, security, or even satisfaction - rather than diligently seeking Christ... thirsting for Him... fainting for Him... gazing upon Him in His holy sanctuary, and beholding His strength and glory - we'll never find anything other than discontent, despair, and emptiness.
We can be surrounded by all the pleasures and treasures of the world and still find no satisfaction -or- we can be in the middle of a desert wasteland and be perfectly satisfied by springs of living water in Christ Jesus our LORD.
What about you? Satisfied?
Grace and Peace,
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