Thursday, February 8, 2024

A Prayer for Hope in a Dry Season – Psalm 42-43

Thursday, February 8, 2024

 A Prayer for Hope in a Dry Season – Psalm 42-43 submitted by Kay Crumley

I find it interesting when something from the past causes me to remember a worship song or verse. In today’s passage both memories are true for me. As a much younger woman in the 1980s Worship songs were a new thing to me. The church I was in at the time had a youth leader I worked with who introduced several worship songs and one was taken from Psalm 42 (KJV): 

As the deer panteth for the water 
So my soul longeth after Thee 
You alone are my heart’s desire 
And I long to worship Thee 

You alone are my strength, my shield 
To You alone may my spirit yield 
You alone are my heart’s desire 
And I long to worship Thee. 

(Martin J. Nystrom, 1984) 

That leader explained that the author took scripture and put it to music and challenged us to attempt that same thing. I was not successful at all, but I do remember trying to find a Psalm that I could put to music and sing. That song and experience often come to mind. Music is long lasting in our minds which makes it important to many people. While these are not the exact words of the scripture, they do provide intention of those verses.   

Verses 1-2 of Chapter 42 say: 

1As a deer pants for flowing streams, 
    so pants my soul for you, O God. 
2 My soul thirsts for God, 
    for the living God. 
When shall I come and appear before God? 

As you read Psalm 42-43 you see that the psalmist was facing a very stressful time in seeking purpose in his life. He cries out to God for protection, peace, and salvation. He longs to be near God just as a wild animal desperately pants for fresh water when it is exhausted and thirsty. He describes his despair as if he is being washed out to sea and is drowning in the deep darkness of the waves in verses 7-8. He expresses his feeling of abandonment in verses 9-10. Then we read of his feeling of rejection in 43:2. Yet, amid that hopelessness he recalls God’s steadfast love for him and God’s strength in all situations. His enemies are mocking him for his faith in God. He finally recalls God’s provision in his life. We see throughout these passages that he feels abandoned by God. Then he recalls that God never left him but that he took his eyes off God.  

He remembers times of praise in the temple, vs 4. God gave His steadfast love to him in vs. 9. He led the psalmist by His light of truth in 43:3. Those remembrances cause him to repeat the following question 3 times in these chapters. 

Verses 42: 5, 11, & 43:5 are all the same: 

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. 

We to can find our hope in God. He is our salvation, our strength, our rock, and our redeemer. He promises that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39). When times are hard and we’re facing challenges that seem insurmountable, we find reassurance of one constant we can hold forever in our hearts. Hope in God, Praise Him because He is our salvationOnly He is our strength and shield. Only He deserves our complete obedience and submission. Only He is worthy of our worship. In times of trouble, focus on Him and worship Him as your strong tower. 

Devotional Archive