I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. The poor will see and be glad— you who seek God, may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there. – Psalm 69:30-36
OK so admittedly this passage only has a passing reference to water. But it had such an interesting statement about seeking God that I just felt I had to reflect on it…so here goes.
The passage begins by telling us something very important – how to please God. According to this passage praising God’s name in songs and glorifying him with Thanksgiving is the way to please God — much more than bloody sacrifices of ox or bulls.
Then it gets really interesting, at least in the context of my walk recently and the dynamic nature of seeking God. The poor (in spirit?) will see and be glad, and you who seek God may your hearts live! What an amazing Hidden well here in the psalms. What does it mean for our hearts to live? Does this mean that if we are not seeking God that in a sense our hearts are dead? There is a sense here in this passage that our hearts and soul are made for seeking God and when we fail to do so we are not really living.
I am reminded of something that A.W. Tozer said in his book “the pursuit of God”. He refers to those actively and passionately seeking and pursuing God as “children of the burning heart”. Maybe this verse provides another way to describe those in hot pursuit of God — those with hearts that live!
What does it mean for one’s heart to be alive? It almost seems easier to define the opposite, when one’s heart is dead. When one’s heart is dead there is a lack of beating, no blood flows to provide oxygen and life to our physical body. If we think of the heart as a metaphor for our souls then to have a heart alive is to have a soul alive. Our soul is active and “beating” and providing important spiritual lifeblood to our spiritual “body”.
Another interesting statement in this passage is “The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.” I suppose this could be referring to the Israelites during their time of captivity in Egypt, but it could also apply to all of us needy God followers held “captive” here on earth. One could view our earthly bodies as a sort of prison for our soul that limits our spiritual “freedom”. Heaven, earth, and the seas are to praise God and so are we — despite the limitations of our earthly bodies.
Prayer: God grant us hearts and souls that live for You.