So often people view the temptation of Jesus as an appeal to memorize and quote Scripture as a surefire means of overcoming temptation. While we certainly need to know our Bibles, and ought never forsake that precious word of life, how Jesus overcame temptation is far more vigorous than we often give him credit for. The inner defense mounted by the Lord against the temptations of the Liar were robust, to say the least. He knew his God. He knew God was more desirable than all Satan could ever offer. He knew the end of the tempter, his kingdom, and all who follow him. Christ knew the glory of his own dawning kingdom. He meditated continuously upon these truths day and night.
The Psalms are a curious genre of Scripture. They are the Psalms of David and other authors, but as Jesus himself states in Luke 24:44, they are His Psalms—they speak of Him. And as Paul says, they are the “words of Christ” (Col. 3:16). But some of the Psalms are less obviously about the Lord’s life and experiences than others. No one would object, of course, to the connection of Psalm 22 and the crucifixion of our Savior. Hardly any could fail to see the messianic kingship of Christ expressed in Psalm 2 and 110. And nearly all would readily admit a picture of Jesus’ resurrection in Psalm 16, since Peter’s first sermon (Acts 2) draws such a parallel.
Even still, very few see how Psalm 63 speaks of the life of Christ. John Gill’s commentary helps us at this point. Gill refers to the inspired title of the Psalm, mentioning it was written when David was “in the Judean wilderness” and draws the parallel to the one time our Lord was recorded as being “in the Judean wilderness”—when he was wrestling day and night amidst his temptation (Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13; Matthew 4:1-11).
It was such a time when Jesus was being posed with whether God was sufficiently satisfying, when jackals would have surrounded him in the nights, when he would be taken to the Sanctuary, asked to behold the glory of all kingdoms in the blink of an eye, and would be clinging to the fact that every word which proceeds from the mouth of God is what truly sustains. When one considers such aspects of Christ’s temptation, these themes throughout Psalm 63 become obvious. Even the conclusion, that the Enemy, and those who follow him, would be silenced, but that the true King would not be silenced in death, would be an utter comfort to Jesus in such a time as his 40 day fast.