I Long for You
Psalms 42; 43 March 4 2012
A Song of Yearning and Praise
David yearns for God as his enemies taunt him . Although heavily weighed down, he reminds himself to hope in God . He cries out to God for vindication, deeply disturbed at his enemies’ success . David determines to urgently seek God’s presence and finds renewed assurance from God .
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
The conflict in the soul of a believer.
The Psalmist looked to the Lord as his chief (Psalms 42:1-5)
Psalms 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, OGod. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me,“Where is you God?” 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me.For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voiceof joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. 5 Why are you cast down, Omy soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
The psalmist looked to the Lord as his chief good, and set his heart upon him accordingly; casting anchor thus at first, he rides out the storm. A gracious soul can take little satisfaction in God’s courts, if it do not meet with God himself there. Living souls never can take up their rest any where short of a living God. To appear before the Lord is the desire of the upright, as it is the dread of the hypocrite. Nothing is more grievous to a gracious soul, than what is intended to shake its confidence in the Lord. It was not the remembrance of the pleasures of his court that afflicted David; but the remembrance of the free access he formerly had to God’s house, and his pleasure in attending there. Those that commune much with their own hearts, will often have to chide them. See the cure of sorrow. When the soul rests on itself, it sinks; if it catches hold on the power and promise of God, the head is kept above the billows. And what is our support under present woes but this, that we shall have comfort in Him. We have great cause to mourn for sin; but being cast down springs from unbelief and a rebellious will; we should therefore strive and pray against it.
Remember the God of our mercies (Psalms 42:6-11)
Psalms 42:6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar. 7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me …. A prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God’s wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for. In the Saviour’s name let us hope and pray. One word from him will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it. At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God. He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then plead it to God.
David endeavours to still his spirit, with hope and confidence in God.
Psalms 43:1 Vindicate me, O God, And plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! 2 For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
David have hope (Psalms 43:1-5)
As to the quarrel God had with David for sin, he prays, Enter not into judgment with me, if Thou doest so I shall be condemned; but as to the quarrel his enemies had with him, he prays, Lord, judge me, and in thy providence appear on my behalf. If we cannot comfort ourselves in God, we may stay ourselves upon him, and may have spiritual supports, when we want spiritual delights. He never cast off any that trusted in him, whatever fears they may have had of their own state. We need desire no more to make us happy, than the good that flow from God’s favour, and is included in his promise. Those whom God leads, he leads to his holy hill; those, therefore, who pretend to be led by the Spirit, and yet turn their backs upon ordinance, deceive themselves. We are still to pray for the Spirit of light and truth, who supplies the want of Christ’s bodily presence, to guide us in the way to heaven. Whatever we rejoice or triumph in, the Lord must be the joy of it. David applies to God as his never-failing hope. Let us pray earnestly, that the Lord would send forth the truth of his word, and the light of his Spirit, to guide us into the way of holiness, peace, and salvation. The desire of the Christian, like that of the prophet in distress, is to be saved from sin as well as sorrow; to be taught in the way of righteousness by the light of heavenly wisdom, shining in Jesus Christ, and to be led by this light and truth to the New Jerusalem.
“Why?” The tone of voice used when we ask “why” tells so much. There’s a child’s complaining “why.” And there’s the despairing adult’s anguished “why,” drawn out by life’s unfairness. The repeated refrain, “Why are you downcast, O my soul,” of is the despairing kind, for David says, “My soul is downcast” . Yet there is a subtle shift in tone, an excitement, as the question is repeated . This is the “why” of freedom rediscovered. Why should I be downcast when my hope is in God?