“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God” (Psa. 42:2).
The recent “God is dead” theory had little true comfort or satisfaction for men in trouble or sorrow.
For years we supposed that the term “the living God,” in the above passage, had reference to God’s power to help, in contrast to the impotence of dead heathen idols. A careful examination of the context, however, leads us to believe that it has rather to do with His ability to respond. The gods of the heathen, by contrast, were like children’s dolls; they could not even change their countenance or respond in any way.
“The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
“They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
“They have ears, but they hear not, neither is there any breath in their mouths” (Psa. 135:15-17).
But the true God is a living God. He does see, hear and respond. The Psalmist, in Psalm 42, compares himself to a stag, panting with thirst. It is sometimes supposed that the scene is one of a stag pursued in the chase, but the passage says nothing of this. Palestine is a dry land and entirely apart from being hunted down, a deer might well pant for streams of running water.
Be this as it may, the stag, in this passage, is not seeking for help; he is thirsting for refreshment, and so did the Psalmist long for the refreshment of fellowship with God, the living God.
How wonderful it is that we may know the living God through faith in Christ! This is why the Apostle Paul declares in Heb. 10:19:
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus… a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. “
By His death at Calvary our Lord tore away the veil that kept us from entering into God’s presence, and now in response to our need He says:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
Yes, God is a living God!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.