Psalm 63:3–4 (ESV) … “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.”
David is satisfied with, in, and by God. This is the main point of what he is saying certainly, and it flows from his opening expression of deep longing. David longs for God, and therefore David is satisfied with God. God does not hold himself back from those who seek him. Rather he gives himself to them fully and in increasingly fuller ways. That is why David can speak of past, present, and future satisfaction.
It is also why he speaks of God’s love being “better than life” (v. 3). This verse contains two things, each of which is acknowledged as good, and it compares them, concluding that the loving-kindness of God is best. Everyone acknowledges that life is good. Therefore, most of us try to hang on to life at whatever cost. We will give up our money rather than be shot by a thief who wants our wallet. We will submit to painful surgical procedures or even to amputations of a limb if those things will restore us to even partial health and prolong our days. Satan used this truth to slander righteous Job: “Skin for skin! A man will give all he has for his own life” (Job 2:4). For nearly everyone, life is the most precious of all possessions.
However, says David, there is something even better than life, and that is the love of God. The word he uses is hesed, which is often translated “loving-kindness” or “covenant-love.” It stresses the faithful continuance of God’s love. God’s love is steady and unchangeable, which is why it is better than even the best thing in life, which is life itself. Life itself can be lost, even though we value it and try to protect it at all costs. However, the covenant-love of God can never be lost. The apostle Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39).
In view of such great love, isn’t it strange that we spend so much time trying to find satisfaction elsewhere, even in earthly loves, and so little time seeking and enjoying the lasting love of God?
As a first result of being satisfied by the eternal loving-kindness of God, David praises God. David was so abundantly satisfied with the love of God that he wanted everyone else to know about God’s love too.