Meditations on the Psalms #92

Day 92

Psalm 42; Read here –


This psalm begins with a powerful image – a deer aching with thirst. In the same way, the psalmist’s soul longed for and needed God. This is an image of the urgent need of our soul. Drinking and thirst are common pictures of man’s spiritual need and God’s supply. Here, the emphasis is on the desperation of the need. Hunger you can excuse, but thirst is awful, insatiable, clamorous, deadly.

Sorrow is always a sense of lack. The sorrow of bereavement is the sense of the loss of a loved one. The sorrow of sickness is the lack of health. The ultimate sorrow is the sense of the lack of God. This was the supreme sorrow of the Psalmist.

The remembering of happier times of joyful worship(v4) made the psalmist sadder as he felt distant from those better days. He was thinking of the multitude and excitement (voice of joy and praise) that marked the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

Then the psalmist paused from the painful memory (v5) to challenge his own soul. He did not surrender to his feelings of spiritual depression and discouragement. Instead, he challenged them and brought them before God. He said to those cast down and disquieted feelings, “Hope in God. He will come through again, because He has before.”

The challenge made to his own soul – demanding that it explain a reason why it should be so cast down – is a wonderful example. There were some valid reasons for discouragement; there were many more reasons for hope.

As you read the psalm you will see many things bothered him, that added up to the overwhelming trials of life. Still, it was as if the psalmist said, those are not good enough reasons to be cast down when I think of the greatness of God and the help of His favour and presence. Paul said, “Press toward the goal of the prize of the upward call from God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14.) Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.

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