Psalm 42

Wandering through the Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:46
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We have now competed reading through the first book of the Psalms.
As a reminder, or for those of you who have missed the first sermon, we are going to take a look at the Psalms through a different lens than what we have been use to reading the Psalms.
The Five books of Psalms Arrangements have been viewed as a collection of Psalms for worship centered around 5 major themes of the life of the People of God.
Book One Ps 1-41-
The installation of the monarchy. Psalms to celebrate and directed at the role of the monarchy. There is hints of who the real king should be , and someday will be for the people of God.
Book Two Ps 42- 72
Deals with perspectives on the failure and the collapse of the monarchy. A human monarchy is not what was expected by the people as they cried out for a king and yet it begins to collapse.
You see these groups of Psalm beginning with this Psalm today will start to look at something they longed to have and a form of regret that it wasn’t all that they thought it would be.
I hope this morning you have come to gain a greater understanding and worship of the God in whom we trust.
It is my desire this morning as we look at the beginning of Book II that you gain a stronger desire to draw near to your God.
With this in mind, let’s turn to Psalm 42 to read together this Psalm.
Psalm 42 ESV
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. 1 As 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? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 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 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 11 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.

What is the story?

Most of Book II revolve around Jerusalem
so that's Psalm 42 and on wards, the beginning of book two seem to revolve around Jerusalem yet this opening song that we just read tells the story about someone who seems to have been removed from the land of promise so as far as the story in Psalm 42 goes.
I think we're getting probably encapsulated something like this.
This Psalm is talking about a believer who's in a faraway place but longing for the presence of God in Jerusalem. It's being marked by enemies all around but despite tears and frustration it finally offers an encouragement to keep hope alive in a dark time by trusting in God's salvation.

Songs from the Sons of Korah

There is sometimes a debate who wrote particular Psalms. Sometimes the subscript to the title gives us a hint, and sometimes it is quite clear.
This Psalm brings clarity to who was involved in the writing of this Psalm.
From the Sons of Korah.
Numb 26:11
Are there people in your lifetime that you would count as a hall of fame? In sports we often mark major accomplishments by placing their name in a hall of Fame.
What about a hall of Shame. Those who have failed miserably in life. It’s a good thing we don’t celebrate the failures of life.
But, I'm not sure if Israel has a hall of shame, if they did, I think Korah and those allied with him would certainly be enshrined in that particular hall.
You see in Numbers 16 there's a guy named Korah who with the band of his followers rebel against Moses. Moses is his own cousin but you know in Numbers 16 in that story of the rebellion of Korah there's an ironic reversal to the rebellion.
It is just as Korah and his friends open their mouth in rebellion so the earth opens its mouth and they are swallowed alive and the earth closed over them and they perished in the midst of the assembly.
so the story of the rebellion is in chapter 16 of the book of numbers
but what is really interesting is the reminder that some of the offspring of Korah, the sons of Korah as they became known as, were not destroyed.
Numbers 26:11 ESV
11 But the sons of Korah did not die.
and guess what, from this group of survivors a band a musical group the sons of korah are derived.
In fact they go onto a fairly prolific songwriting career.
11 psalms are from the sons of korah and are preserved in the book of psalms itself.
It's really interesting that the survivors of this Korah rebellion go on to be temple musicians.
The from the sons of korah the lyrics typically emphasize themes like regret and loss but also restoration and redemption so sons of korah compositions are really interesting.
Do you realize that often in times amidst the ambiance of regret and the themes of rebellion in these kinds of compositions there's also a great determination.
In Korah's certain determination, they saw first hand what rebelillion against God looks like.
Here's a group whose been gifted a second chance and they're encouraging anyone who wants to take it seriously to likewise take hold of that second chance that God always offers Psalm 42 a song of the sons of korah.

What is up with the deer?

Now let’s look at the actual Psalm.
When I took the Psalm’s class, this particular Psalm my teacher spent a little extra time exploring. Some of the thoughts today, come from his teachings and I have been given permission to use his material for us today.
Here is what he said...
What is up with the deer????
Ps 42:1 “1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
Many of us when we read this verse or hear this verse we are reminded of the song,
Just for a moment, I want you to take a second look at this picture of a deer panting.
What do you imagine?
For some of you it is the beginning of hunting season and you are thinking of location, a spot by the river where the animal will come near to catch a drink and be in the perfect spot for you to accomplish your task.
For others it is the scene from a movie as the quiet animal approaches a stream to bend down and gather nourishment from what appears to be an endless supply of water.
But is that really what the writer of this Psalm is trying to communicate with the readers?
Is it a picture of a deer traveling through the forest in search of a water source.
If that is what you have in your mind as you read this Psalm, turn with me if you would to Lamentations 1:6
Lamentations 1:6 (ESV)
6 From the daughter of Zion
all her majesty has departed.
Her princes have become like deer
that find no pasture;
they fled without strength
before the pursuer.
It is a picture of a deer that is wounded. It is panting because of the hardship it is enduring.
It is panting because it is not in a place of peace, comfort or rest.
It is a picture of a deer at its weakest moment and its crying out for something that is not near
Psalm 42:2 ESV
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
Have you had a dry spell in your Christian journey.
Those times where you struggle day to day and you seem to have lost your closeness with God?
This is the picture of the panting.
A thirsting for God, the living God.
Your thirsting and panting for God to be real in your life.
Maybe that pain has come from a wound from a friend.
Maybe that pain has come from a loss that seems too unbearable to fathom.
Maybe that loss has come as you have wondered away from God and you want to restore your relationship with God. There is something blocking, sin.
It is in those times that we are like the deer panting for that refreshing flow of the Spirit in our lives.
We cry out, reach out, as it seems so far away.
It is in this opening line of the Psalm that the writer begins to give us in poetic terms his state and relationship with God.
Are you panting for God, stay with me, because there is hope.

The nature of the taunts

The Psalmist then moves on to the concepts of taunts.
Ps 42:4-6 “4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 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 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.”
Look at verse 4: He is remembering the time that he would spend going to the house of the Lord, a place where God would dwell. Like the deer that is wounded and longing for the time of healing, so to the Poet expresses the time that he can pour our his heart to God.
A couple of times, we hear in these verses, why is there taunting and who's doing the taunting, but our best guess is it's those captor's or those whom the poet is surrounded by and they don't seem friendly to the faith of Israel.
This is very serious stuff in the eyes of the poet.
Taunt......“where is your God”
so this is the taunt that's causing great distress and depression and the downcast soul in the place
Have you ever been a place in your life that things don’t seem to be going they way they should be as a follower of Christ.
Are you at that place that you are crying out to God and longing for the comfort of the Spirit.
Unlike the Psalmist, as followers of Christ, when we have given our lives over to the one who died for our sins, we are promised a Spirit, God’s Spirit to come and dwell in our lives.
One of the greatest taunt that we face today, often comes with listening to the wrong voice in times of great struggle.
You may have heard people say,”
‘why have all these bad things happened to you?’
“is it because you're evil and you deserve it!”
Maybe you think that your not good enough for God’s grace. That our father looks down on your weakness and failures and this is what is causing the pain and turmoil.
This is the farthest thing from the truth.
The Psalmist wrote”
Psalm 42:5 ESV
5 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
Folks when we go through a difficult time in our life,
when we are really struggling to understand the many things around us,
negative thought can slip into our lives. It’s during these times that we need to look to the Psalmist because, they slipped into the mind of this Psalmist as well,
It’s not that we should say to ourselves, we shouldn’t feel this way, rather we need to repeat over and over to ourselves, the hope that is within us.
The Hope that is within us!

There is inner turmoil

What we must realize that there is an inner turmoil that comes when we begin to focus on our surroundings and begin to take our eyes off of the one who holds that keys to our problems.
The external things going around us can lead to dreariness and isolation.
If you are having this inner turmoil within your soul, once again,
we can turn to the Psalms and discover how we can manage these circumstances.
You see the inner turmoil,
that's evident evident from start to finish in the poem, is primarily caused because of these external circumstances that are now weighing on the poet and causing this downcast state.
now perhaps maybe not all of us can relate to prison or literal captivity but I think dreariness and isolation are common enough and I think believers can often find themselves in places or in seasons of life or even in a society that can be hostile to faith
That's the inner turmoil that we see in the poem, and so you want to know if Psalm 42 also offers us something of an antidote,
an antidote to inner despair or pointing us to the possibility of refreshment.

What is the message: The take away

This Psalm gives us a great resource for our Christian lives.
It provides us with an invitation to do the following:
To confess our feelings and thoughts to God
To admit to articulate honestly exactly what we're going through
To also know that we can do so with the confidence
Confidence that God hears wherever and whenever we cry out
add in confidence God hears us and the pulls us to Him
despite this inner turmoil
and despite these external circumstances
despite being frustrated in a a variety of difficult states.
God knows that when we cry out God He hears and so I think we have this invitation to be honest and to confess to God exactly what it is that we're going through

1. To confess and articulate what we are going through in our lives.

So our first take away is the willingness to confess to Him
Have you had those moments when you are alone with God and only God and cry out to him

a. When we cry out, God hears

Folks, its good to know that when we cry out to God, He will hear those pleas
A God who by his very voice spoke into existence all that we see both here on earth and the stars about.
Folks, we are sitting in a small building, in a small town, in a province, in a country, that is on a single planet among thousands of planets inside of galaxies that are too far and too numerous to count, that was is has been created by God, yet that same God hears us when we cry out to Him.
No matter how small you feel, and we are small in comparison to all that has been created, God longs to have a relationship with us. He longs to hear when we cry out to Him.
And the best take away from this Psalm is that God hears us

2. It encourages us to respond with hope.

The second take away from this Psalm is that it encourages us to respond with hope.
I wonder how many of you, if you were to stand on top of a tall building and threw a tennis ball off the roof would question what would happen?
We would all agree that we would love to see if fall and bounce off the ground.
If we continued every day doing the same action, continued to see the ball bounce would we once questions,
“Hey, maybe today, it may not bounce, maybe it will not fall to the ground, maybe it would just stay suspended in mid air.
This Psalmist shows us that we can cast our cares on Him because we can have a response of hope
That hope comes because we believe in a God who’s nature will never change. He will be our strength.

a. The poet remembers the past

You see the poet remembers the faithfulness of God in the past.
My Hope is in God, therefore I shall praise Him
My souls is cast down, therefore I will remember what He has done.
God’s character is unchanging.
The poet reminds us that by Day, God is a God with steadfast Love and by night he can sleep knowing the Song is within me.
If the circumstances you face today, seem to be out of the reach of God. Call out to him.
Cry out to him, he can handle those fears.
Then remember the past, all that God has done for you and he will care for you.
The circumstances may not change, but our outlook towards them does when we focus on God.

3. It challenges us that present realities do not define us for the future

The Final take away is this...
Our present realities do not define who we are. In fact, when you go through these difficult times, and you make it through these times, you look back and see how much God has given you the strength to make it through those times.

a. We are more than conquers

Our present struggles when we call out to God and cry out to God makes us more than conquers.
we can still in more than conquerors through him who loved us
despite people saying where is your God

b. We can internalize the character of God

we can point descriptions and we can internalize God’s word
Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee
so that when such moments come will be more than equal to the task,
not because of inner strength that we have
but because of the character of God who makes promises and who has every intention of keeping them are so Long's for search thirsts for god and psalm

c. Our Soul Longs for Thirst for God.

The final challenge that the present circumstances can drive us to is a longing of the soul and a thirsting for God..
The Psalmist began with a picture of a wounded deer panting, desiring the refreshment of the soul in the living water.
Do you have a thirst for God.


In Conclusion, and as the worship team comes to prepare to lead us into communion, let me give you a reason for the hope that is within us.
God loves us so much, even in our brokenness, our sin filled life, that He sent his Son, the Word and breath of God to come and be like us. Christ came to this world, and was obedient to His heavenly father and went to the cross for you and me.
He was willing to have his body broken for you, He gave his life for you and for me.
He died on the cross to take the place of the sin in our lives and rose again triumphing over death.
That is the Gospel, The good news the hope that is within us as believers.
By accepting this free gift of God, we can have eternal life and be called children of God.
If you haven’t accepting God’s Word for your life, to be willing to cry out to God and to give your life to God, why not do it today.
That is why we come to the table of the Lord, for each one of us to celebrate what Christ has done for you and me.
I ask the men to join me at the table.


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