Craving for Quenching
4 Refreshing Facts about the Satisfaction of God
“O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
They met at a well because they both were thirsty. They each had a physical need that needed to be met. “Give me to drink…”, Jesus requests of the woman (John 4:7). This craving for quenching was the backdrop Jesus needed to help the Samaritan woman understand the satisfaction God offers. And to her surprise, and ours also, it is very satisfying.
We understand very well the concept of satisfaction. Every time we draw a breath, drink a glass of water, eat a meal, achieve a goal, or collapse exhausted into bed at the end of a hard day’s work, we enjoy satisfaction. It is the quenching of an appetite. The satiation of a need. Satisfaction comes in different shapes and sizes and can be applied to any real or perceived physical, emotional or relational need. Moses, the author of Psalm 90:14, provides four refreshing facts about the satisfaction that comes from God. We will take them one at a time and in the order they appear.
First the psalmist writes “O satisfy…” This introduction suggests the pursuit of satisfaction is not the prize but satisfaction itself is the prize. At first glance this is not remarkable at all. Yet, with more careful personal inspection, I must confess that very often I glory in the pursuit of satisfying rather than the satisfaction itself. Which one of us would forgo the meal and skip to the satisfaction? Not too many. No, we love the eating. We love the drinking. We love the sleeping. We love the pursuit. It then comes as no surprise to learn much of what we consume in this life has never been engineered to fully satisfy. If social media satisfied me, I would shut if off having had my satisfying fill. That’s not good for business. If the Lay’s potato chip satisfied me, I would not finish the bag and go buy another-with a belly ache to boot. “This world will never satisfy” not only because it cannot but because it does not want to.
Secondly, Moses writes “O satisfy us early…” It is refreshing to learn that God’s satisfaction happens at the beginning and not at the ending. No earthly satisfaction comes in this manner. Rather, satisfaction comes at the end of the meal, at the end of slumber, at the end of a hard day’s work. Furthermore, it is good for satisfaction to come in this way. Every employer wants her employee motivated by the carrot of satisfaction. A dozen character qualities have grown in us because of this cause-and-effect relationship between preceding effort and following satisfaction. God offers something different – very different. He offers a satisfaction that comes early and by it we live and have our being from the standpoint of contented, finished achievement. The believer can start their day with a finishing satisfaction.
What is the nature of this satisfaction? Moses tells us this also. “O satisfy us early with thy mercy”. The third refreshing fact about the satisfaction of God is it is not earned. The satisfaction of God is realized. It is His mercy that satiates our wants and needs. This is remarkable. Typically the mechanisms of satisfaction are grand, noteworthy, engineered, and won. Yet the quiet, unassuming favor of God is enough to capture the heart of man and put him at rest. The hard work required for our satisfaction has come by way of the hard work of Christ. We enter into His work, into His satisfying rest.
Finally, the satisfactions we experience here on earth expire and come up for renewal. How many times do we push ourselves back from the dinner table after a big meal to exclaim “I will never need to eat again!” Hunger at this point is so forgotten that it’s truly hard to imagine craving even another bite. And yet, in four short hours our appetite will return and make demands for satisfaction. And so, it is with every other desire we experience. We are thirsty again, tired again, in need of affirmation again, and the cycle of satisfaction and expiration continue. But the satisfaction of God is different. The fourth surprising fact of God’s satisfaction is that it endures and does not expire. “O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again” (John 4:13), Jesus told the woman. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14) She believed him. After all, she left her water pot at the well and returned home to tell others of the only One who can truly satisfy. May we likewise seek satisfaction from the One who can truly quench our craving.
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The Satisfaction That Comes From God Podcast
Seeking satisfaction happens on many levels, on an array of topics, moment by moment with all of us. Quenching appetites is a daily job. Psalm 90:14 offers four surprising facts about the satisfaction that comes from God. In this episode of Breaking Bread, Arlan Miller and Matt Kaufmann highlight these surprising qualities and muse on how beautifully welcome each one is.