Thursday, August 09, 2007

Psalm 42

As I continue in my struggle with the “what, the wherefore, and the how-to” of prayer, my “thoughts” brought me this morning to Psalm 40 and 42.

As I read Psalm 40, I thought, “Wow! What a prayer!” But then, when I read 42, I cried out, “Oh God, You have heard the cry of my heart…”

Psalm 42:1-11 NLT
Psalm 42:1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.

I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, "Where is this God of yours?"

My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again -- my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you -- even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar.

I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?” Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again -- my Savior and my God!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon says, “Although David is not mentioned as the author, this Psalm must be the offspring of his pen; it is so Davidic, it smells of the son of Jesse, it bears the marks of his style and experience in every letter. We could sooner doubt the author-ship of the second part of Pilgrim's Progress than question David's title to be the composer of this Psalm.

Subject - It is the cry of a man far removed from the outward ordinances and worship of God, sighing for the long-loved house of his God; and at the same time it is the voice of a spiritual believer, under depressions, longing for the renewal of the divine presence, struggling with doubts and fears, but yet holding his ground by faith in the living God.
Most of the Lord's family have sailed on the sea which is here so graphically described.
It is probable that David's flight from Absolom may have been the occasion for composing this Maschil.” (emphasis added.)

If you’ve ever longed for “the way it used to be.” If you’ve ever said, “My heart is breaking…” or “Now I am deeply discouraged…” then this Psalm is for you. For David said, “Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Saviour and my God!”

David repeats this phrase in verse 5, and then again in verse 11. I think, the first time, on his knees in desperation, and the second time with fists uplifted in triumph and victory!

Did the circumstances change? Did the “situation” suddenly correct itself? No, but David changed.

The old saying is, “Prayer changes things…” but most often, prayer changes us!

Father, hear the cry of Your children - hear our cry when we are in despair, and hear our cry when we cling to the very hope of Your promise and Your salvation.

Change our circumstances when that is what brings You glory, or change us instead, when Your glory must come from another avenue.

And always, oh always may our hearts “long for You as the deer pants for streams of water…”

In the Name of the One who “arose while it was still early” to commune with You - in Jesus’ name - Amen.



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