Psalm 42

Psalm 42

Psalm 42 is the first psalm of the BOOK II (Psalms 42–72). Psalms has all five books and we just finished the first book (Psalms 1-41). When we read the Psalm 1 as an introduction (Blessed One), the first book is a good reading for 40 days of meditation. In the Bible, 40 days are days of reflection, meditation, trial and triumph. We have read the agonies and struggles of human beings in the first book. We also read our hope and faith in there. If we keep our faith and hope and practice love, we can have a blessed life! This correspondence between struggle and hope, agonies and faith will continue in the second book. We will have, however, a little bit different tone of voice and color as we see in the following lyric:

“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.”

     For the psalmist, nothing else is important. She just wants God! When she has relationship with God, nothing matters. The greater joy is for her to bring people into such a wonderful relationship with God! Now, psalmist finds out she is depressed and sad because she is looking for something else than God. Once she remembers her relationship with God and all the things that she has done with God, she will restore her joy: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.”

    God has never been away! Actually God has been calling the psalmist with loud and clear voice! The psalmist just could not listen to God’s voice. She just felt that she was left alone because others laugh at her. “Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?” As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?’”

Now, she needs to refocus on God. When she remembers God and God’s wonderful acts that God has done for her, she can recover her courage and praise: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.”

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