Psalms 42



Thirsting for God in Trouble and Exile.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul 1pants for You, O God.
2 My soul 2thirsts for God, for the 3living God; When shall I come and 4appear before God?
3 My 5tears have been my food day and night, While they 6say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember and I 7pour out my soul within me. For I 8used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, With the voice of 9joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
5 10Why are you 11in despair, O my soul? And why have you become 12disturbed within me? 13Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the 14help of His presence.
6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore * I 15remember You from 16the land of the Jordan And the peaks of 17Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your 18breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
8 The LORD will 19command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me 20in the night, A prayer to 21the God of my life.
9 I will say to God 22my rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go 23mourning because of the 24oppression of the enemy?"
10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they 25say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
11 26Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

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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.

Cross References 26

  • 1. Psalms 119:131
  • 2. Psalms 63:1; Psalms 84:2; Psalms 143:6
  • 3. Joshua 3:10; Psalms 84:2; Jeremiah 10:10; Daniel 6:26; Matthew 26:63; Romans 9:26; 1 Thessalonians 1:9
  • 4. Exodus 23:17; Psalms 43:4; Psalms 84:7
  • 5. Psalms 80:5; Psalms 102:9
  • 6. Psalms 79:10; Psalms 115:2; Joel 2:17; Micah 7:10
  • 7. 1 Samuel 1:15; Job 30:16; Psalms 62:8; Lamentations 2:19
  • 8. Psalms 55:14; Psalms 122:1; Isaiah 30:29
  • 9. Psalms 100:4
  • 10. Psalms 42:11; Psalms 43:5
  • 11. Psalms 38:6; Matthew 26:38
  • 12. Psalms 77:3
  • 13. Psalms 71:14; Lamentations 3:24
  • 14. Psalms 44:3
  • 15. Psalms 61:2
  • 16. 2 Samuel 17:22
  • 17. Deuteronomy 3:8
  • 18. Psalms 69:1, 2; Psalms 88:7; Jonah 2:3
  • 19. Psalms 57:3; Psalms 133:3
  • 20. Job 35:10; Psalms 16:7; Psalms 63:6; Psalms 77:6; Psalms 149:5
  • 21. Ecclesiastes 5:18; Ecclesiastes 8:15
  • 22. Psalms 18:2
  • 23. Psalms 38:6
  • 24. Psalms 17:9
  • 25. Psalms 42:3; Joel 2:17
  • 26. Psalms 42:5; Psalms 43:5

Footnotes 15

Chapter Summary

Psalms 42 Commentaries