Psalm 42 – My Soul Thirsts for God


As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (vv 1-2)

Being oppressed by the enemies of God is a theme that abounds within the Psalter. The purpose of the repetition is to give voice to the question that continues to nag us to this day; where is God as trouble closes in around us. Has He abandoned us, do we no longer enjoy His favor? Foolish thoughts, but thoughts we must admit to entertaining.

To fill our minds with the joy of our moments of worship brings comfort and a reminder that God does not forget us. We can be assured that He is always near and worthy of our hope and belief.

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. (v4)

Meditation on this truth brings the psalmist and us to the same conclusion:

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God , for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (v5)

The oppression and suffering that the psalmist refers to is not of the random type. He recognizes that God’s hand has allowed it, if not brought it upon him. His allusion to the flow from above that washes over him.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. (v7)

The ultimate goodness of God’s totality does not escape him. Ultimately and despite current suffering, praise is the only response to the hand of God.

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. (v8)


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