As the Deer

This song was written in 1984 written by Martin J. Nystrom. It is based on Psalms 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.” Psalm 42:1. The song beautifully explains the need we have for God in our lives. While the songwriter based this song on the first verse of Psalms 42, all the songs verses are based on scriptures found in the bible.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee

The first two lines of the first verse come from the Psalms 42:1, the verse’s last lines reference the desire to worship God. As followers of Christ, we should be mindful of these words to have our hearts focused on God. Matthew writes in his gospel account that ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ Matthew 6:21. This simple statement of this song can be a reminder of the heart that we should have. “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Ps. 29.2 

You’re my friend
And You are my brother
Even though You are a King
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything

In this 2nd verse of the song, it emphasizes that Jesus is our friend. In the book of John, we read that Jesus calls Himself our friend because He has made known to us what He heard from the Father. “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15. The second verse also reminds me of the passage in Matthew when Jesus speaks “And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:49-50. This verse reinforces the idea who Jesus is to us and that God should be our everything and we should love Him above all else.

I want You more than gold or silver
Only You can satisfy
You alone are the real joy giver
And the apple of my eye

The songwriter takes from Psalms again for the 3rd verse when he coins the beginning line of verse 3. “The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.” Psalms 119:72. We know that only Jesus satisfies our longing hearts and with Him we our fulfilled. And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

You alone are my strength, my shield
To you alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship you

The chorus sums up the power of Jesus in our lives and the very place He should hold in our hearts and our lives. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

I hope you’ve enjoyed the discussion on As the Deer. It is a heartfelt song that celebrates the need for Christ in our lives. It praises the wonderful role that the Lord fills.


Note: Song copyright 1984 by Maranatha! Music

4 responses to “As the Deer”

  1. I like this informative post

  2. I have always lost some of the lyrics as I worship God with this song but the main part I always felt so deeply. The part I could feel so deeply was my similarity to the fragile deer. He starts to feel the loss on a survival level of needing water to live. I know when I wander away from God by being distracted that at some moment I come to a sudden loss and longing for Him. I want to be with Him and be calmed and centered. I want to feel right. I wish everyone could know Jesus because they must feel so lost when their soul cries out and they don’t know it is looking for the source of life.

    1. Nicki Nichols Avatar
      Nicki Nichols

      I always love your thoughts. Your are so encouraging and inspiring and have such a great heart. Love you lots

  3. I love the part of this song that compares us to fragile deer longing for the source of life. I feel so lost sometimes and in a moment I suddenly feel lost and adrift. I usually have become distracted by things that take away from refreshing my soul. In that moment that comes I always am so hungry to find God, my source of life. Those words I long to worship thee make an impact on me. How I long to be part of my Father and I long for peace of mind. Thank you for putting this in my head so I can let it fill me up inside.

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