King David was a great writer.  We are blessed in that we have a number of his writings in the form of psalms.  David often found himself away from the major cities which allowed him time to meditate on God and what He had done for him. In many Bibles, subtitles are ascribed to many of the psalms. While one could offer arguments about the validity of the subtitles, more often than not, they are accepted (by tradition) as being authentic. Psalm 63 is one of the psalms that has a subtitle. It reads, "A Psalm of David when he was in the Wilderness of Judah". Reading that, you are forced to wonder what the Wilderness of Judah is like.

The Wilderness of Judea from the Dead Sea basin.The Wilderness of Judah lies to the west of the Jordan River and Dead Sea and climbs into the central mountain range. It is very arid, and in some locations only a few inches of rain fall each year. I took the attached picture a little over a week ago as we were traveling down the western edge of the Dead Sea. While you often see small shrubs, it has very sparse vegetation.

Now, let's look back at Psalm 63. As you read through it, try to keep in mind the picture and notice the obvious references to the environment in which he was in.


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. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. 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. But those who seek my life, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Once again, understanding the lands of the Bible help you to understand the writings in the Bible.