Psalms 42



Psalms 42–72


For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 [a][b][c]As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people 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 to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One[d]with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
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?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior 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.

Cross References 37

  • 1. S Psalms 18:33
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 10:7
  • 3. S Job 19:27; Psalms 119:131; Joel 1:20
  • 4. Psalms 63:1; Psalms 143:6
  • 5. S Joshua 3:10; S 1 Samuel 14:39; S Matthew 16:16; Romans 9:26; Jeremiah 10:10
  • 6. Psalms 43:4; Psalms 84:7
  • 7. S Job 3:24; Psalms 80:5
  • 8. ver 10; Psalms 79:10; Psalms 115:2; Joel 2:17; Micah 7:10
  • 9. S 1 Samuel 1:15
  • 10. Psalms 55:14; Psalms 122:1; Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 30:29
  • 11. S Ezra 3:13
  • 12. S Joshua 6:5; Psalms 95:2; Psalms 100:4; Psalms 147:7; John 2:9
  • 13. Psalms 35:18; Psalms 109:30
  • 14. Psalms 38:6; Psalms 77:3; Lamentations 3:20; Matthew 26:38
  • 15. S Job 20:2
  • 16. S Psalms 25:5; S Psalms 71:14; Lamentations 3:24
  • 17. Psalms 9:1
  • 18. Psalms 18:46; Psalms 44:3
  • 19. ver 11; Psalms 43:5
  • 20. Psalms 63:6; Psalms 77:11
  • 21. Genesis 13:10; S Numbers 13:29
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 3:8; S Deuteronomy 4:48
  • 23. S Genesis 1:2; S Genesis 7:11
  • 24. Psalms 69:2; Psalms 88:7; John 2:3
  • 25. Psalms 57:3
  • 26. S Psalms 16:7; Job 35:10
  • 27. Psalms 77:6; Psalms 63:6; Psalms 149:5
  • 28. Psalms 133:3; Ecclesiastes 5:18; Ecclesiastes 8:15
  • 29. Psalms 18:31
  • 30. S Psalms 10:11
  • 31. S Psalms 35:14; Psalms 38:6
  • 32. Job 20:19; Psalms 43:2; Psalms 106:42
  • 33. Psalms 9:13; Psalms 43:2
  • 34. S Psalms 6:2
  • 35. Deuteronomy 32:27; Psalms 44:16; Psalms 89:51; Psalms 102:8; Psalms 119:42
  • 36. S ver 3
  • 37. ver 5; Psalms 43:5

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.
  • [b]. In Hebrew texts 42:1-11 is numbered 42:2-12.
  • [c]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  • [d]. See Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 42 Commentaries