Psalm 63:3 says that “God’s steadfast love is better than life.” It might help for a moment to remember that David was the Psalmist and that he wrote this Psalm when he was in the wilderness. He was either running from Saul or he was running from his son Absalom. Those were the two times David was living in the desert. I’m of the opinion that it was the latter period, when his son Absalom raised up an army and took the city of Jerusalem by force. David fled from the comfort of his home and escaped into the desert with his general, Joab. Verse 1 of Psalm 63 describes the situation for us. David writes, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” It seems to me that this describes not only the state of his soul, but also his physical surroundings. Can you imagine having a son that you love attempt to kill you in order to take your place in the world? What a painful time for David it must have been.  He was not only driven from the comforts of his home, but driven from the family he loved and trusted to support him. What a desperate time it must have been for him.

It’s in that context that David makes the statement that “God’s steadfast love is better than life.” Life can be the most disappointing adventure one can imagine at times. I think it was for David. My Dad used to mention that the five most repeated words in the Bible are “and it came to pass.” He wasn’t a real Bible scholar and I can’t say I remember him reading it at all, but somewhere along the way he picked up that statement and kept it with him. I think it’s because of how true it is. Everything comes, but nothing in life comes to stay. It comes only to pass. All our successes, all our accomplishments, all our joys and all our pleasures will come to pass. In other words, I’d say that the difference between “life” and “God’s steadfast love” is that one is only temporary and one lasts forever. Which one is better? Think about it! Nothing in life is completely satisfying and fulfilling.

However, God’s “steadfast love” is! That’s what David means in verses 5 and 6. He writes, “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the watches of the night.” You know that our souls are not satisfied by food. David is really saying that as a great meal satisfies my body, feasting on or tasting “God’s steadfast love” and meditating on that is the only thing that truly feeds his soul.  Not every little boy can grow up to be an NFL or NBA star. Not every little girl can grow up to be princess or a ballerina. No matter how much we might want to encourage the dreams of our children we all must recognize that life is going to be a disappointment in many ways. Even if we accomplish great things, our successes and victories only come to pass. God’s steadfast love is the only thing that came to stay! Think about it.