302.) Psalms 42 and 43

Ibex drinking in En Gedi, Israel.

Psalm 42 (New International Version)

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

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

_________________________

Music:

“As the Deer.”  Lyrics and tune by Marty Nystrom in 1984.

_________________________

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

4 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.

from Daily Readings from Luther’s Writings,
edited by Barbara Owen

Now this multitude must have some kind of a room and its days or hours, which will be convenient for the listeners.  Therefore God very wisely arranged and appointed things, and instituted the holy sacraments to be administered in the congregation at a place where we can come together, pray, and give thanks to God.  Just as is done in worldly affairs when somethings which concerns the community must be dealt with, so much the more should this be done where we are to hear the Word of God.

And here the advantage is that when Christians thus come together their prayers are twice as strong as otherwise.  One can and one really should pray in every place and every hour; but prayer is nowhere so mighty and strong as when the whole multitude prays together.  Thus the dear patriarchs and matriarchs gathered with their families, and anybody else who happened to be with them, under a tree, or put up a tent, and erected an altar, and this was their temple and house of God, where they talked about Christ, the coming seed who was promised to them, sacrificed together, called upon God, and gave thanks to him.  And thus they were always glad to be with the multitude whenever they could, even though they also meditated upon God’s Word and promise and prayed by themselves in private.

_________________________

5 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 6 my God.
My  soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

Mount Hermon is the highest point in Israel and the only place in the country to snow ski in the winter.

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

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”

from Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon

“Why go I mourning?”
Psalm 42:9

Canst thou answer this, believer?  Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing?  Why yield to gloomy anticipations?  Who told thee that the night would never end in day?  Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty?   Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair?

Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter?  Hope thou then!  Hope thou ever!  For God fails thee not.  Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this?  Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God’s love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments.  No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; he only cares to use it for that reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good.

Thou shalt yet climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold him who sits at the top of it — thy covenant God.  Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendours of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them.  Come, sing in the midst of tribulation.  Rejoice even while passing through the furnace.  Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose!  Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then “forever with the Lord,” thy bliss shall never wane.

“Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.”

 

_________________________

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 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.

_________________________

In many Hebrew manuscripts, Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.

_________________________

Psalm 43

1 Vindicate me, O God,
and plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.

2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?

3 Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

 

 

4 Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.

5 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.

_________________________

“Be kind.
Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

So be looking for opportunities to pass on a cheerful, encouraging word!

Proverbs 12:25 (New Living Translation)

Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.

Psalm 94:19 (English Standard Version)

When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.

John 16:33 (King James Version)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
42:1 and ibex at En Gedi.   http://www.bibleplaces.com/newsletter/hr/Ibex_drinking_in_Nahal_David,_tb100503600.JPG
praying together.    http://www.nscsv.org/Conference.JPG
Mount Hermon.    http://www.hermon.com/mt_hermon/16.jpg
red rose.    http://beautifulwallpapers.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/red-rose.jpg
43:3 and man on mountaintop.    http://www.4catholiceducators.com/graphics/Psalm43_3.jpg
Mount Zion.    http://www.concierge.com/images/destinations/destinationguide/africa+middleeast/israel/jerusalem/jerusalem/israel_002p.jpg
plant growing.    http://www.limelightdirect.co.uk/images/The%20story%20so%20far/plant%20growing.jpg
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