Wednesday, July 29
Returning to Sorrow
Read Psalms 42-43.
After the hope of verse 5, the psalmist returns to his distress. His soul is cast down. This causes the psalmist to “remember” the Lord. Remembering in the Bible usually includes acting on what is remembered. In this case, the psalmist acts by praying earnestly. Verse 6 ends by describing the psalmist in remote places, away from the center of God’s people. “Deep” refers to deep waters, a place of chaos and death. The psalmist feels far away from God and His people, surrounded by dangers that continue to overwhelm him.
What image or picture would you use to describe how you feel right now? In your prayer time, share this image with the Lord. Tell Him why this image captures how you feel.
Week 3 — Psalm of Disorientation — Personal Lament
Introduction to Psalms 42-43
We do not know who wrote these Psalms. The Sons of Korah refers all the way back to the time of Moses. Korah’s descendants faithfully followed the Lord and served as Levites for centuries.
Psalms 42 and 43 are so tightly connected that it is almost certain that they were once considered one unit. They express a powerful “lament” – a cry for help during distress. Two questions echo throughout Psalms of lament: Why is this happening? How long will it last?
Psalms 42 and 43 are divided into three parts, each ending in, “Why are you cast down, O my soul…” In 42:1-5, the psalmist laments feeling distant from God. The tension between God’s love and the psalmist’s sufferings are the theme of 42:6-11. In Psalm 43, the psalmist cries out for God to act and promises to worship as a result.
Psalms 42–43 (ESV)
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.
1As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
3My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
4These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
5Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
6and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
8By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
9I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
11Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
1Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
2For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
4Then 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.
5Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Thank you for praying with us through these 40 days!
– Todd Malone
Fellowship Bible Church
Experiencing Jesus | Transforming Lives
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