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Psalm 42 & 43

Psalm 42 & 43


I. These two psalms reveal the mental conflicts of a person who was helplessly stuck in a foreign land away from the Temple and his people who are worshippers of God (torn between the ideal and present)

II. When the psalmist was away from the Temple and fellow worshippers (42:1-2)

1. He was undergoing an agonizingly painful emotional conflict (verse 1): arag panting (cf. Jonah 1:20) Psalm 36:10; 84:3; Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13

2. He was in an intense desire and overwhelming sense of want of his God (verse 2): tzma thirst

III. Though the psalmist was away from the Temple and fellow worshippers, he maintained communion with God (42:3-4)

1. By being totally consumed with his thoughts on God (verse 3): “day and night” and “food” [the enemies were taunting day and night, but the psalmist is thinking about God day and night]

2. By not paying too much attention to his tormentors (verse 3)

3. By reminiscing his earlier experience of going to the Temple along with the fellow worshippers (verse 4)

4. By intensifying his desire to go to the Temple and be around the fellow worshippers (43:3-4) (hope)

IV. While living in two worlds (the ideal vs present), the psalmist experienced emotional illness (verse 5-6, 11, 43:5)

1. Down casted, depressed: shiah (mental depression caused by helplessness)
2. Tumultuous, make a noise: hamah (like the verse 7) [the experience is not an ordinary one]
(Personal responsibility: He avoided the reality, but longed for what is not in his control)

V. His theological convictions help him to stand firm in his faith in the middle of the torments of his enemies and emotional conflicts (42:8-10; 43:1)

1. God of his life (verse 8)
2. His rock (verse 9)
3. His salvation (verse 11)
4. His refuge (43:2)

VI. When things were not going the way he wanted, instead of forcing his agenda he left them in God’s hand (43:3-4)

VII. Take Away

Accept your situation, focus less on the negatives, and concentrate on God

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at