With my soul have I desired you in the night; yes, with my spirit within me will I seek you early…
With my soul have I desired thee in the night. When God's judgments are in the earth, even the righteous become more earnest. They need the quickening of spirit which comes from marking "the way," the sure way, and sometimes the swift way, of God's judgments. But the night must be taken in a personal sense as well as in a national sense.
I. WE DESIRE GOD IN THE NIGHT OF OUR SORROWS. Thick clouds come over the heart. We are no longer surrounded by bright skies and pleasant sounds. We have come to the wilderness side of life. The morning of our expectations has given place to the noonday of our toil, and to the evening of our disappointment. The beautiful dream is over, and earthly joys are only passing guests. At eventide they are gone. The soul, sitting alone, feels how unrequited has been the love of God. Alone in the darkness it seeks his face.
II. WE DESIRE GOD IN THE NIGHT OF OUR DOUBTS. These will come. Old evidences do not afford us the same basis of faith. New difficulties come face to face with the intellect. Mysteries born of experience oppress the heart. Before, perhaps, we were hard and dogmatic to all who differed from us; before we were inclined to think that doubt was in itself a sin, and not the exquisite action of a sincere mind. Now we sit in darkness, and there is temporary eclipse of faith. What we want is God himself - the living God, God in Christ; and we are thankful if we can but "touch him." We feel how blessed religion is, even when our evidences are darkened, and with our soul we desire God in the night.
III. WE DESIRE GOD IN THE NIGHT OF OUR SEPARATIONS. They must come. Be the tie ever so tender, it must be cut; and we must say or look farewell, or perchance hear of the death of some beloved one in a foreign land. These tragedies are about us every day. New habiliments of mourning are put on every hour. No "touch of a vanished hand." Nothing below but empty space! Then the soul cries, "O God, be not far from me!"
IV. WE DESIRE GOD IN THE NIGHT OF OUR OWN DEPARTURE. And it is night. To the Christian, who looks through it to the morning, who believes in the better country, and who sees the light of the new Jerusalem flickering up into the sky as he ascends through the darkness, - still to him, strong as he may be in faith and hope, death is a dark hour. But One alone can lighten that. Not lover, acquaintance, mother, or friend. No. "When I pass through the valley of the shadow of death thou art with me." - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.