Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalms 42 & 43

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him (Psalm 42:5, 11 & Psalm 43:5, ESV).

Have you ever felt like getting away from it all and commiserating about the difficulties of your life?

Oh, come on, yes, you have!

When we get discouraged, let’s read Psalm 42 & Psalm 43. Some scholars believe the two Psalms are connected, having been written as one Psalm and then separated, or Psalm 43 became a shortened version of Psalm 42.

Sort of like the song Amazing Grace — there’s the original version, and then some musicians just sing a refrain at the end of their version, or they combine another song with it …

Think of Chris Tomlin adding the refrain “My chains are gone; I’ve been set free” to his version of Amazing Grace.

Psalms 42 & 43 contain over 50 personal pronouns. They are intensively reflective. Two examples … 

My tears have been my food day and night (Psalm 42:3).

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people (Psalm 43:1).

The Psalmist also questions the goodness of God 11 times. Another two examples …

I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?” (Psalm 42:9)

For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? (Psalm 43:2)

Psalms 42 & 43 express frustration with life events, enemies, and unfaithful friends.  

The Psalms use descriptives — tears, cast down, turmoil, forgotten, oppression, adversaries, ungodly, deceitful, and unjust — basically, all the words that we need to have a great pity party for ourselves!

But something else begins to weave itself into the midst of the Psalmist grieving (our grieving, too) as Psalm 43:3 asks God to …

Send out your light and your truth; let them [the frustrations and descriptives mentioned above] lead me; let them [frustrations and descriptives] bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 

Once we learn to consider it all joy with our various trials, then we get a different group of descriptives in these two Psalms …

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God (Psalm 42:1).

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls (Psalm 42:7).

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me (Psalm 42:8).

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God (Psalm 43:4).

Our God is never frustrated by our frustrations, defeated by our defeat, or stymied by our questions. He welcomes us, bringing our frustrations, defeats, and questions to His throne, where we begin to ask a different question …

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him (Psalm 43:5).

In the presence of God, we lose the pity party. In the glory of His presence, we stop questioning God and challenge the legitimacy of our own despair.

Amen! Peace out.

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