Blog Archive

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eliy / My God

For July, each post examines an Old Testament name of God.

El-iy / My God

(pronounced: "ale-EE")

A Psalm of David
When He Was in the Wilderness of Judah.
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water...
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
~ Psalms 63:1,6-8 (NKJV)

We know too little of hunger. We flippantly say "I'm starving" to express that we're hungry enough to feel it. Worse, we randomly say "Oh my God" with little or no thought of the need for God.

David was a warrior often in the field, and twice a fugitive (fleeing first from King Saul, and later from David's son Absalom). He would have often known true hunger. Though David lacks even water in the Wilderness of Judah, he confesses a greater thirst for God in his soul. His very flesh longs for God, implying a depth of need which becomes a physical ache.

David does not here call upon Adonai his Master, nor upon the Lord of Hosts to deliver him from enemies, nor as Elohe-nu, "Our God" (as the Jews address the Lord in corporate prayer and when blessing Him for the food He provides). David cries out to the One he calls "My God"—the same name used by Jesus in His greatest hour of need. Whatever the needs of his starving body, David needs God more. The name is most personal.

The longing of a soul can often overtake the needs of a body. Writers say "we can't not write" because our souls have a longing to express in words things which cannot be contained. We stay up late and get up early and wake up at odd hours thinking of writerly things. We forget to eat. The need to write is felt more keenly than the need to breathe. We're understandably thought an odd bunch by those close to us who do not share our drive.

But writers aren't terribly unique. Any person has a longing of the soul which is usually the last thing thought about before sleep, the first thing thought about upon rising, and a frequent object of thought throughout the day. It will inevitably pop up in conversation. Discretionary hours and money are dedicated to that passion. To identify a person's god, simply look at the most prominent recipient of that person's talent and talk, time and treasure.

Our talent, talk, time, and treasure are not consistently God-centered unless we realize David's personal need for God within our souls.

We may have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior. We may have heard Him declare Himself "The Lord Your God" (yesterday's post). We may have then received Him as "The Lord Our God" because He has made Himself ours.

But it is when we in turn surrender ourselves to Him that we know God as David did when he cried out, "Oh God, You are my God."

In such a defining moment we fulfill the longing in our souls that finds its satisfaction in God alone.

There comes a time in every heart a time of real decision
When we reach the point of choosing how we will live our lives
All our hopes, all our dreams will rise up from that moment
The moment we surrender and choose to follow Christ
He's been waiting all our lives to hear us say
I am yours, Lord, take my hand and lead the way
When you believe He's all you need
That will be your defining moment *

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved. * Lyrics of "Defining Moment" by NewSong © 2000 Reunion Records


  1. Lead me Lord all the days of my life.

  2. "I meditate on You in the night watches..."

    Indeed. I rise to read His Word (today I finished 2 Chronicles and read from Luke) and to get my words out.

    Now I shall wipe the tears brought on by your lovely post, and write in the night watches.

    Have a blessed Tuesday, dear Anne.

  3. You've perfectly captured here what I could not, Annie. Thank you.

  4. After I read your post, I had to go read the rest of this beautiful, refreshing psalm.

    Thanks for the reminder of God's intimate care for us. It's a great way to start the day.

  5. Great insight: "But writers aren't terribly unique. Any person has a longing of the soul which is usually the last thing thought about before sleep, the first thing thought about upon rising, and a frequent object of thought throughout the day."

    It's so true and something to be more purposefully aware of. Oh, I just adore David's heart. Can't get enough of his words, prayers and reflections. And YOURS.

    Thank you for taking the time to write all of these posts. Would love to know some of your study sources so I can dig in to.

    You are a blessing and a light! THANK YOU!

    - Amy

  6. I love the thought that David and Jesus cried out using the same word--My God!

    ~ Wendy

  7. I forgot to mention "talk" on the list of talent, time and treasure. I tweaked the post to include it.

  8. Denise, your surrender to His leading is obvious.

    Gwen, you know those night watches better than anyone I know.

    Billy, if I've captured it perfectly, it's because nothing drives me quite like the desire to be fully given over to Him.

    Rosslyn, I love this Psalm so much that it's the ringtone on my phone (Rich Mullins' "Step by Step").

    Wendy, can you hear the anguish in both their voices? Their souls' longing for the One to whom they've given themselves?

    Amy, I think David's passion for the Lord was intensified by all the suffering he endured, through which God sustained him.

    To answer Amy's question:
    I've accumulated a respectable reference library and have "home-schooled" myself on God's Word for two decades. But primarily, I simply use the Bible and Hebrew/Greek dictionaries, with dependence on the Holy Spirit through prayer. I own almost 40 Bible translations, including Hebrew and Greek versions, and prefer the NKJV (very literal yet readable). My computer program links my dictionaries to the text with incredible accessiblity and I highly recommend the free download E-Sword.


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