Psalm 42

Please read Psalm 42 (11 verses)

The picture we see at the beginning of this Psalm is of a deer, an animal, thirsty and desperate for water. The scene mirrors the desire of the psalmist who pants for the presence of the Lord and longs with great longing to know the Lord better. He desires to be with the Lord forever, for all the pleasant streams in this life have dried up for him and he is thirsty for God.

The psalmist is in a deep depression and finds himself on the verge of tears all the time. Everything upsets him and the things he sees and hears in his society are causing him distress. He once went up to the Lord’s house with the joyful throng, but that has all gone past. He remembers it and it is distressing as he is so far away from joy and any festivity. He is so downcast it is like the powerful and deadly breakers in the sea that are crashing upon his psyche and dragging him down into drowning.

The writer questions himself as to why he is so depressed. He cannot get out of it but is caught in a vortex of despair that is destroying his thought processes and turning everything into a negative. Even in this state the Lord ministers to his servant, the psalmist, and encourages him by knowing that this state is not forever. One day soon the Lord will bring him out of the mindset and he will praise the Lord once more. The psalmist pants and longs for that day…

Still he thinks God has forgotten him. For the Christian there is no more painful thought than the possibility that the Lord does not love him, and it is torturous. The comfort is in the pain, for if he did not love the Lord, he would not feel that way. If the Lord did not love him, he would be a castaway. His inner foes torment him and tell him lies about himself and God. The psalmist continues to comfort himself with the question and the certain answer that the Lord will release him. He must put his trust in the Lord alone and wait patiently…

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