The deer’s life depended on water, especially when pursued by hunters. In the frantic chase, the desperate deer panted and looked for refreshing water to quench its thirst. In his effort to escape the enemy chasing him, the psalmist felt distant from God. His longing for God’s presence was deep. It was a thirst nothing else could satisfy.
The psalmist is in exile. He looks back to better days when he could go to the temple and meet with God, and join in the procession of God’s people. In his present circumstances he is unable to seek intimacy with God in the places where he had done so in the past. He is downcast, sad and oppressed by his enemy.
One of Satan’s favourite tactics is to oppress God’s people and rob them of their joy. He wants to do this so that he can steal from the believer their God-given capacity to be a light shining in a dark world. Oppression and sadness are companions, the opposite of freedom and joy.
The first way of dealing with enemy oppression is to put our hope in God and let Him turn any tendency to give in to despair or defeat into longing for Himself. The second way of dealing with enemy oppression is to rise up, stand against the enemy and, in the name of Jesus, to declare that we refuse to be under his oppression any longer.
The psalmist longed for a familiar place to meet with God. Today, just where you are, He is close beside you, ready to satisfy the deepest longings of your heart.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the way into your presence through the Lord Jesus. Please increase within me a longing for You, and give me grace to stand today against the oppression of the enemy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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