Psalm 62:2


“O God, my God, I rise early to be with You;
My soul thirsts for You.
How often my flesh thirsts for You
In a desolate, impassable, and waterless land.”

«Ὁ Θεὸς ὁ Θεός μου, πρὸς σὲ ὀρθρίζω· ἐδίψησέ
σε ἡ ψυχή μου, ποσαπλῶς σοι ἡ σάρξ μου ἐν γῇ
ἐρήμῳ καὶ ἀβάτῳ καὶ ἀνύδρῳ».

This Psalm was written by the Prophet and King David when he was in the wilderness of Judea, when he was fleeing from the persecution of Saul. It is striking that David, in a time of such great difficulty, found it possible to write a Psalm with such love for God. When someone rises early, the reason for this arises from love. For David’s love towards God, St Nicodemus the Hagiorite expresses it in this way: “[O]n waking my thoughts turn at once to you, making my converse with you prior to any word or deed, and having dedicated such converse to you as the first-fruit of the day.”

It is fitting that this is the third of the Psalms recited during Matins. This sentiment is repeated when David writes “My soul thirsts for You”, and this shows the intensity of his love for God. The idea of thirsting for God is repeated throughout the Psalms, and refers to the times when God provided the Israelites water in the desert after they had fled from Egypt. In the same way that the Israelites were physically nourished, so the “Living Water” quenches the thirst of the soul for God. However, this thirst is quenched for the soul and body. This emphasises the physical element of both the creation of humanity and of worship.

Christ became incarnate, taking on and redeeming the human body. This human body is called, alongside the rest of Creation, to worship God. This physical worship can be experienced in the Divine Liturgy, where all of the senses are brought closer to God. This Psalm also reiterates the ongoing nature of our desire for God. This desire is not a rarity, but a constant within the life of the faithful. While everyday life may not appear conducive towards cultivating this thirst for God, we must remember that David managed this in the desert. The world can appear spiritually “desolate” and “waterless”, but that should only encourage the Christian to hunger and thirst for righteousness through Christ as He instructs us in the Beatitudes.


Source: Lychnos June – July 2021