Psalm 42

Psalm 42  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
This Psalm gives us the complaint of a suppliant who is in sorrow because of separation from God’s house, because of the reproach of his enemies, and because of the remembrance of joy now gone by. He is, however, able to encourage himself in God, and to hope for the future.
David’s sorrow at the hand of Absalom was kindred with this; for we remember how he was then driven beyond Jordan, and how he sent back Zadok and the Ark of God to Jerusalem. All his joy was in God’s habitation; but he had sinned, and his soul owned that joy was not his proper portion then (2 Sam. 15).
But in all this, we may say, like king, like people. The people, the true Israel of God, in the latter day will come to such sorrow and desire after God. They will mourn sore like doves—like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity (Ezek. 7:1616But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. (Ezekiel 7:16)).
The Spirit of Christ, in full sympathy with them (for in all their afflictions He is afflicted), will lead the soul of the Remnant in these exercises, making them His own. The challenge of the enemy to the individual suppliant, “Where is thy God?” (Psa. 42:33My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? (Psalm 42:3)) is given to us in Joel 2:1717Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? (Joel 2:17), as said by the heathen to God’s Israel, “Where is their God?”
But the spirit of this Psalm may be the burden of any righteous and afflicted one. And all such sorrow gives exercise of soul towards God, and advances the discipline of the wilderness. It gives knowledge of God’s resources, which had never been otherwise brought out by Him, or known by us.