by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
As the hart panteth after the water broods, so panteth my soul after thee, O God (Psalm 42:1).
1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
The hart is not like the camel. The latter can travel through the desert for days without water, but the hart needs water daily. When pursued by the hunter, the hart flees to the water, plunges into it, and is safe. It is said that when the hart is lost, he runs in a circle, and in the place where he was shot at, he may be shot at again. But as soon as he scents water, he makes straight for it, and thus escapes. We are told that the hart, or the hind, leads her young to the water, as if to teach them, water is your safety, your life.
Does your soul pant after God, the fountain of life? Do you flee to him in your sorrows and distresses? Do you quench your thirst daily at this fountain? Do you lead your children to this fountain? Every one who thirsts may come. They that come shall be abundantly satisfied (Hebrew, watered).
Alas, there are those who forsake the Lord, the fountain of living waters. "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." But Jesus' invitation still stands: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." He that believes on him shall never thirst.
O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee. My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary; because Thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Isa. 55:1; Ps. 36:8; Jer. 17:13; 2:13; John 7:37; 6:35' Ps. 63:1-5.
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