Sunday School Lessons

Celebrating and Being Satisfied

Have you ever eaten a big meal after being really hungry?  Maybe it’s a big holiday meal or a chance to eat out (especially at family sit-down restaurants in the United States, where portions are monstrous), and you’ve skipped a meal or two to make sure that you have room for all of the good food that awaits you.  Do you remember how you felt at the end of the meal?  I would probably describe myself as “fat and happy” in those situations.  If I was hungry before the meal (maybe because it took longer to cook than expected), I am definitely not hungry afterwards!

Continuing in Psalm 63, remember that the author (David) was probably on the run, in what we might call a desert or wilderness.  Still, he remembers time spent with God, and makes a commitment (or pronouncement) about his attitude:

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Psalms 63:2‭-‬5 NIV

Just as the person who is hot and thirsty remembers the feeling of taking a cool drink of water, David remembers what it was like to experience God.  He has seen God’s power and glory.  As the Lookout (cited below) reminds us, David would have known about the tabernacle or a “tent of meeting” as the place where God’s glory resided (even though God is all-present), since Solomon’s temple wasn’t built until after David’s death.

David also commits to praising God, and this is apparently not a conditional promise.  It sounds like David is choosing to praise God for who God is, and specifically praising God for His love, favor, or faithfulness (depending on the translation into English).  I also wonder if this might be an acknowledgement of what David confidently knows will be true: that God will continue to be faithful and remain worthy of David’s praise.

Did you see that David raises his hands in praise?  Praising God isn’t something that we do only with our mouths or our hearts.  We can also praise Him with our posture, whether that is humbly kneeling in prayer, raising our hands to show how much He means to us, or any one of a number of other actions.

Now, I’m not saying that you always need to raise your hands at church in order to be righteous, and I don’t think that we should do things during worship just for show if they aren’t consistent with our heart.

However, if Christians want to show an outpouring of gratitude and worship to God, and they struggle to express just how much they love Him, I encourage them to think about how they celebrate other things.  For instance:

  • When you accomplish something good that you’d been working for a while (in my case, when the code compiles or the unit tests all pass), do you cheer?
  • When you receive good news about a team’s success (at school or work), do you give your neighbor a hearty pat on the back if they were part of the team?
  • When your favorite sports team wins, do you raise your hands in the air and cheer?
  • Or, if your team wins and you’re at the stadium, do you hug a stranger next to you who happens to be wearing your team’s colors?

I think that there are a lot of ways to express praise and worship to God, including both the ways that we celebrate other amazing things, along with special ways that we reserve just for God.  Regardless of how you show your love for God, though, don’t hold back and don’t choose what to do – or what not to do – just because of someone else’s worship style or a fear of what other people might think.  Let loose with your praise to God as He has enabled you to do so.

In the end, David is satisfied.  Sort of like having all of the good food that you need at the table when you are hungry (but even better than that!), David finds all that he needs in God.  I hope that we can do the same, but not just take blessings from God.  May we return gratitude and praise to Him, and commit to doing so for the rest of our lives: both in these mortal bodies, and in eternity.

From Sunday School lesson prepared for November 6, 2022


  • The Lookout, November 6, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • The College Press NIV Commentary, Psalms, Volume 1, S. Edward Tesh and Walter D. Zorn, © 1999, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO.

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