In this psalm, young David is wandering in the wilderness, still on the run from King Saul’s men. With his life in the balance, David yearns for YHWH’s protection like a cool drink of water in the desert. “My soul thirsts for You,” says the warrior-poet and future king. “My flesh longs for You.”

Good God Almighty, what a pickup line! And have you seen his sculpture in Florence? Jeez, I wonder if David used that come-on later to get Bathsheba into bed (or maybe “Hey, baby, how you doin’?” is all any king needs to say). Anyway, much of the imagery in this psalm is like that.

David is “satisfied as with marrow and fatness” (he likes a little meat on their lovely bones). He praises them “with joyful lips” (any mention of lip-smacking joy is always hot). And he thinks of them “on my bed … in the night watches” (the they/them/theirs can be either singular or plural).

But wouldn’t you know it, right when young Dave’s nocturnal meditations start getting good, he remembers the king’s men on his tail, and he goes off half-cocked, saying he wishes they’d all be ripped to pieces by jackals. He ends with something like, “Liars, liars, pants on fire.” Amen.