A Satisfied Soul

January 2007

When most people travel, they usually remember famous landmarks as the highlights of their trip. They take pictures, make scrapbooks and regale their friends and relatives with stories of what they saw and did. My son is different. The highlights of trips for him are the meals. He can describe each course of each dinner with pinpoint accuracy. He really enjoys fine food.

You can probably recall some of your more memorable meals. Perhaps you enjoyed a particularly fine steak or fresh fish. It might have been an ethnic dish, filled with unusual flavors and exotic ingredients. Or perhaps your most memorable meal satisfied because of its simplicity, like the homemade soup and bread we once enjoyed in a Scottish pub.

Can you recall how you felt after that wonderful meal – the feeling of being full, satisfied, content and thankful? Hold that thought as you read the following verse from Psalm 63: “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (verse 5, NIV).

David was in the desert when he wrote this, and I’m sure he would have loved a feast of real food. But apparently his mind wasn’t on food, but on something – someone – better. To him, the presence and love of God was just as satisfying as a sumptuous banquet. Charles Spurgeon in The Treasury of David wrote: “There is in the love of God a richness, a sumptuousness, a fullness of soul filling joy, comparable to the richest food with which the body can be nourished.”

As I pondered why David used the analogy of a meal to picture how satisfied God makes us feel, I realized food is the one thing everyone on earth needs and can relate to. If one has clothing, but is hungry, one is not content. If one has shelter, cars, money, friends – anything one can desire – but is hungry, none of it means much. Except for those who have no food, most people know the satisfied feeling of eating a good meal.

Food is central to all the celebrations of life – births, graduations, weddings and anything else we can find to celebrate. We even eat at funerals. The occasion of Jesus’ first miracle was a three-day wedding feast. When the Prodigal son returned home, his father ordered a lavish meal. Revelation 19:9 says: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”

God wants us to think of him when we have enjoyed “the richest of foods.” Our stomachs stay full for only a short time, and then we are hungry again. But if we fill up with God and his goodness, our souls will be satisfied forever. Feast on his word, dine at his table, enjoy the riches of his kindness and mercy and praise him for his bounty. Then with singing lips, let your mouth praise God who satisfies us as with the richest of foods!

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