"I am . . . the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink . . . ." Revelation 21:6
"Holy desire, which is expressed in longings and hunger and thirst after God, is often mentioned in Scripture as an important part of true religion." In these words Jonathan Edwards summarizes the themes of many psalms.
For example, Psalm 27:4 says, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord." Psalm 42:1-2 proclaims, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
Psalm 84:2 adds, "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." So delightful and satisfying is God's presence that the psalmist would choose "one day" with God over "a thousand elsewhere" (84:10).
C. S. Lewis, reflecting on the Psalms, writes that God is the "All-satisfying Object" of the psalmists. Their hunger and thirst were filled by the Lord, and in this they were blessed (Matthew 5:6).
Edwards notes that the Scriptures also speak of holy joy, mourning for sin and brokenness of heart, godly fear, hope, gratitude, compassion, mercy, and zeal as significant parts of true religion. "If the great things of religion are understood," he says, "they will affect the heart."
Lord, in the words of Blaise Pascal we pray, "The desires you have given [us] are perfect. May you be the beginning and the end of them." Fill us, O Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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