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Due to the pandemic and social distancing orders, we are not meeting at least through April. 

January 22, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Exodus 13-15
Audio: Exodus 13-15

Psalm 42 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I 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 deadly wound in my bones,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 43

Back: Psalm 41

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God (Psalm 42:5)

    Cast Down

    Most of us know what it's like to be cast down and have turmoil within us. Some people have the burden of being cast down often – languishing in deep depression. For most of us, depression doesn't linger as it's caused by an especially painful situation in our lives. 

    The psalmist writes:

    "My tears have been my food
        day and night" (Psalm 42:3a)

    "As with a deadly wound in my bones,
        my adversaries taunt me" (Psalm 42:10a)

    In both of these verses, mockers taunt him saying:

    "While they say to me all the day long,
        'Where is your God?'"

    Twice the psalmist asks:

    "Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?" (Psalm 42:5a)

    And both times he responds with the solution of his anguish:

    "Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God" (Psalm 42:5b)

    The psalmist's antidote for his depression is to hope in God and to praise Him as He is his salvation and His God. This is not wishful thinking or platitudes of positive thinking. He takes his eyes off of his situation and onto God who is in control of all things.

    Hebrews 12:1-3 says: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."

    When we find ourselves cast down, we need to surrender ourselves to the sovereignty of God in every area of our lives. This means surrendering whatever has us cast down to God. Whatever the turmoil in us is, surrender that to God. Although we may be cast down for a time, we can be lifted up because our trust is in God no matter what we're going through. We can lay aside our turmoil (which clings closely), fix our eyes on Jesus and not grow weary or fainthearted. 

    In his commentary on Psalms, James Montgomery Boice writes, "In this distant land the psalmist was also surrounded by unbelievers who taunted him with the biting challenge, 'Where is your God?' This must have hurt him a lot, because he repeats the line twice in just this one composition. In ancient times almost no one was a true atheist. The first real atheism came with Greek philosophy. So the taunt did not mean that God did not exist but that God had abandoned the psalmist. It meant, 'Where is your God when you need him? Where is your God now?'

    "That is a cause for deep depression. Where is God indeed? Where is God when I am in a far country, separated from my usual work, taunted by enemies? Why doesn’t God seem to hear my cries? Why doesn’t he intervene to change my circumstances?"

    Can you relate to the psalmist's depression?

    Can you relate to the psalmist's soul panting and thirsting for God?

    Can you relate to the question "Where is God?" in the midst of being cast down?

    Can you relate to the psalmist finding hope in God and praising Him for his salvation?


    ~ Puritan Prayer ~

    "Help Us To Pray" by Matthew Henry

    "Many may ask, 'Who will help us?' We say, 'Lord, show us your face.' That will give us glad hearts, even so much more than farmers after a great harvest.

    We ask your favor and acceptance with our whole heart. Hear our prayer, Lord, and in your faithfulness answer us. Be close to us in everything. You that hear the young ravens cry, do not be silent. Otherwise we are like those who go down to the pit.

    Pour upon us the Spirit of grace and prayer. Through the Spirit of adoption, teach us to cry, 'Abba, Father!' Send your light and truth; let them lead and guide us to your holy hill and your tabernacles. Lead us to you, God, our exceeding joy.

    Lord, open our lips, and our mouth will praise you. Amen."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)
     

  2. “As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
    My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
    When shall I come and appear before God?
    My tears have been my food
    day and night,
    while they say to me all the day long,
    ‘Where is your God?'”

    What I thought of when I read this psalm this morning is a handful of friends of mine who used to be active and fruitful members of the body of Christ, and who have all walked away from fellowship for one reason or another.

    Two have rejected God's word and, for all intents and purposes, have become unbelievers. Apostates. Only a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit can give a blind man sight. But I can pray for them, that God would do for them what He did for my husband and I. 

    But my heart this morning is for two other friends, both who have been drawn away by the bondage that is alcoholism, and what it does not only to the mind, body and spirit, but to relationships. Both of these friends profess love of Christ, the Jesus Christ we read and learn of in the Bible. But alcoholism destroys human relationships. With its insidious influence on a man or woman who is intoxicated, alcoholism leaves relationships in tatters because of words spoken, deeds done, and decisions made that leave an alcoholic ashamed and embarrassed, but also resentful of and heartbroken by those who have finally had enough and walk away. 

    This psalm sounds like what someone like that must experience every day…a longing, a crying out for God…with memories of a far away time when they were part of the throng of worshipers, praising God together in the local church, enjoying the goodness of God as part of the body of Christ. 

    "Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God."

    I am praying for my friends now, asking God to give me the opportunity to share His love with them, to remind them that they are not forgotten, that they are loved, and that He wants to restore and heal them, restore and heal their relationships, and make them fruitful for His glory. 

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