Psalm 42 begins with the words, “As the deer panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God“. This Sunday at Church, as we sang the familiar song “As the deer panteth for the waters, so my soul longeth after thee, you alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee”, I wondered as to the reasons as to why a deer would pant.
One of the definitions in the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary for the word pant is to long eagerly or yearn. It is often in the context of a feeling that results from some form of physical exertion, usually running. This made me realize that a deer would pant for water when it runs (just as other animals and humans do), either from a predator or due to a need for satisfaction of its thirst.
With this realization, I learn from the scripture that our souls must pant after God as well. This means that we must also be running in order to pant. We must first run from evil, the devil who is like a predatory roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) and we must run to God as we long to be satisfied. There is no other one, other than Jesus who can satisfy. He said come unto me all ye that are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). In other words, He was expressing that in Him and only in Him is total satisfaction and until we are satisfied, we must be panting after Him, the source of Living Water (John 4:10-15).
Point(s) to ponder:
Are you/Am I panting after God, the living God?
Psalm 42:1-2 (KJV)
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?