There are deer up in the forest on the hill behind our house. It does not happen often, but I have surprised them on my walks in the vineyards. I imagine they like to come down and nibble on the vines. The moist climate of Alsace means that local deer can satisfy much of their thirst in their foraging of wet leaves. The deer living in a dry sandy country have a greater need for water.
The deer described in our verse today lives in a dry climate and quenches his thirst in a flowing stream. David (thought to be the author) likens his thirst for God to that thirsty deer. For days and nights David had been crying (verse 3). The outpouring of his tears has made him thirsty for God’s reassuring presence. He was crying because his enemies mocked him saying, “where is your God?” (verse 10) In the face of their taunts and persecution, David thirsts for just a glimpse of the face of God.
David’s relationship to God was so close. Yet, there were times he was particularly thirsty for His presence. Those thirsty times were in reaction to the mockery of others. In the same way, when I am ridiculed for my faith, I need to run to Him. When my incredulous mocking peers discourage me, there is only one solution; come and be reassured in His satisfying presence.
The sweet water He provides my soul is exactly what is needed in facing an unbelieving world. Thank you, Lord, that through faith, You satisfy that longing for a glimpse of Your face.