Psalms 42

BOOK II

1

(Psalms 42–72)

1

Psalm 42

1

For the music leader. A maskil of the Korahites.

1 Just like a deer that craves streams of water, my whole being craves you, God.
2 My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and see God's face?
3 My tears have been my food both day and night, as people constantly questioned me, "Where's your God now?"
4 But I remember these things as I bare my soul: how I made my way to the mighty one's abode, to God's own house, with joyous shouts and thanksgiving songs— a huge crowd celebrating the festival!
5 Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed? Why are you so upset inside? Hope in God! Because I will again give him thanks, my saving presence and my God.
6 My whole being is depressed. That's why I remember you from the land of Jordan and Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep called to deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your massive waves surged over me.
8 By day the LORD commands his faithful love; by night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God, my solid rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I have to walk around, sad, oppressed by enemies?"
10 With my bones crushed, my foes make fun of me, constantly questioning me: "Where's your God now?"
11 Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed? Why are you so upset inside? Hope in God! Because I will again give him thanks, my saving presence and my God.

Images for Psalms 42

Psalms 42 Commentary

Chapter 42

The conflict in the soul of a believer.

Verses 1-5 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.

Verses 6-11 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.

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Pss 42–43 form one single poem; cf the note at Pss 9–10.
  • [b]. Perhaps instruction
  • [c]. Or soul; also in 42:2, 4, 5, 6, 11; 43:5
  • [d]. Syr, Tg; MT and appear before God?
  • [e]. Heb uncertain

Chapter Summary

Psalms 42 Commentaries