Where is Thy God?
Despondency and Depression are Tumultuous Emotions
To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.f Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
There is a conflict that runs between our faith (spiritual realities) and sight (our human emotions). As we read Psalm 42, notice the psalmist struggling with some depression and the feeling of isolation from God. These feelings of isolation may have come from an absence of fellowship or discouragement from other believers, godly friends, or by relentless darts thrown at him by unbelievers. Whatever the cause, the feelings are real and recorded for our benefit.
Spiritual reality says: “My soul panteth after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.” Emotion says: “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” The Psalmist feels it is important to be honest with God about his doubts and struggles with a heavy out-pouring from his heart.. The writer is responding to the oceans of trials in which he seems to be drowning in and alleges that God is ultimately responsible for each turmoil.
Some have assigned David to this psalm with his heart longing for the worship he knew in Jerusalem. He has left his home, the throne on which he ruled and now is fleeing from his son, Absalom in great despair. Eating nothing because of his extreme grief and the bitter words expressed, his heart is overwhelmed. Others look at this psalm as though it were written for King Hezekiah during his debilitating and life threatening disease. Hezekiah’s illness fits the various moods and crying out of one’s innermost soul. The horror and fear of death had a grip upon his soul.
Thought: Have you wrestled with the emotions expressed in this psalm? Has your soul been “cast down,” within you? Are you facing challenges at this time and need to see the hand of God working in your life? Psalm 42 reveals the character of God and ways He will help you “walk by faith,” when you are downcast and depressed.
~ Seek for God, the living God. ELOHIM: The Strong Creator. (Verse 2)
~ Hope in God and again praise Him for who He is. JEHOVAH-EL ROI: The God who sees. (Verse 5)
~ Trust in God and He will command His lovingkindness to be upon you. JEHOVAH-ROHI: The Lord My Shepherd. (Verse 8)
~ Sing, His song will be with you in the night. JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH: The Lord is There (God is always present with His people). (Verse 8)
~ Pray always, especially in darkness. JEHOVAH-SHALOM: The Lord our Peace. (Verse 8)
~ Talk to yourself, “Why are you in despair, O my soul?” Remind yourself, “Hope in God, He is your help!” JEHOVAH-JIREH: The Lord Will Provide. He is JEHOVAH-EL EMETH: The Lord God of all Truth. (Verse 11)
~ Give thanks to God for His saving power and His mighty hand working in and through your life.