Psalm 42By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, June 6, 2010.
Psalm 42 I. This Psalm contains the expressions of a soul that loves God, which is the heart of true religion. MAT 22:37-40; 1CO 13:1-3; 1JO 4:8, 16. A. It is commonly supposed that David penned it when he was driven by Absalom's rebellion from Jerusalem and beyond Jordan. 2SAM 17:22. B. Whether David penned this Psalm or not, it is certainly applicable to his experience. C. Matthew Henry said that this Psalm expressed “...a conflict between sense and faith, sense objecting and faith answering.” II. The Psalmist yearns for the presence of God. A. Consider the intensity of this yearning as expressed by his panting and by tears being his meat night and day. vs. 1, 3. B. No temporal, perishing things could satisfy this yearning. Only the LIVING God could do so. JOH 4:10-14; JER 2:13. 1. This yearning for the living God's presence assumes the same in His house. PSA 63:1-2; 84:2. 2. We have such a house for enjoying the living God's presence. 1TI 3:15 c/w HEB 12:22; MAT 18:20. C. The question of when he shall appear before God indicates he senses himself away from God. v. 2. 1. This ought to be our sensation when we are without His house. c/w PSA 84:7. 2. This IS our condition when we are delinquent in prayer or are grieving His Spirit. D. Love delights in the presence of its object. SONG 1:7. E. True love seeks, finds and holds its object close. SONG 3:1-4. F. Yearning for God's presence is proof of one's love for God. 1CO 13:12. III. It felt like God, his Rock on Whom he depended, had forsaken and forgotten him. JOB 23:8-9; 30:20; PSA 30:7; 77:1-10. A. God sometimes withdraws comforts from us to prove what is in our hearts. DEU 8:2-3. B. A withdrawal of God's presence should arouse in us just such yearning as we read of here, if we truly prize that presence. C. Though it may seem to us that God has abandoned us, He will never ultimately do so. ISA 49:14-15; ROM 8:35-39; HEB 13:5. IV. Two things aggravated his grief. A. His enemies reproached him by saying, “Where is thy God?” 1. They wrongly concluded that because deliverance did not come immediately to him, God had abandoned him. We err when we think likewise. 2. They suggest the greatest dread of one who loves God, namely, being abandoned by Him. Thus, it was a sword in his bones (v. 10). 3. Has the devil ever whispered this in your ear? B. He remembered the former times of rejoicing. v. 4. 1. He appears to have been away from the house of God and its ordinances as he penned these words. 2. The land of Jordan and of the Hermonites (v. 6) was removed from Jerusalem, the location of the house of God. DEU 3:8-9. 3. Those who can be satisfied to be removed from God's house have cause to wonder Psalm 42 Page 1 of 3 about their spiritual condition. Life itself is worthwhile by the house of God. 2KI 20:5. 4. When dejected, what memories most aggravate that dejection tells something about what you love most. V. Now he was deluged by troubles. v. 7. A. Waterspout: “A large tube formed of clouds by means of the electric fluid, the base being uppermost, and the point let down perpendicularly from the clouds. It has a particular kind of circular motion at the point; and, being hollow within, attracts vast quantities of water, which it frequently pours down in torrents upon the earth.” (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge) B. One downpour seemed to call for another. C. One wave of affliction after another rolled over him. PSA 88:3, 7; JON 2:2-4. D. These waterspouts, waves and billows are God's and thus under His control. VI. The Psalmist formerly rejoiced whereas now he mourns. A. Joy and mourning are opposite emotional states. ISA 61:3. B. Joy: “A vivid emotion of pleasure arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction; the feeling or state of being highly pleased or delighted; exultation of spirit; gladness; delight.” C. Mourning: “Feeling or expression of sorrow; sorrowing, lamentation.” D. In his grief, he pours out his soul as did Hannah. 1SAM 1:15. 1. Rather than keep our griefs bottled up, we should pour them out to the One that cares. PSA 62:8; 56:8; 1PE 5:7. 2. Don't be afraid to tell God how you feel. JER 15:18; HEB 4:16. VII. He dialogues with his soul as to why it is cast down and disquieted. A. Man can communicate with himself, an attribute absent in the brute creation. B. Although the Psalmist mentions outward afflictions, he nevertheless inquires as to why his soul is dejected. C. Believers have been known to be encouraged and to rejoice in the midst of outward afflictions. 1SAM 30:1-6; PSA 3:1-6; ACT 16:23-25; 2CO 4:8-9; 6:10. D. Sometimes when we are depressed we do not know why. VIII. He exhorted his soul to hope in God. vs. 5, 11. A. Hope in God is the antidote to a dejected soul. ROM 8:23-24. B. Without anticipation we have nothing to live for. The arrow with no target falls to the ground. C. Our hope is to be fixed in God alone. PSA 62:5; 146:5; LAM 3:24-26. D. He was assured he would yet be helped by God and thus have cause to praise Him. E. His help would come from God's countenance/presence. PSA 16:11 c/w ACT 2:28. 1. No longer would the countenance or the face of the Lord be hidden from him. 2. A sense of God's presence produces great joy. PSA 21:6. 3. The shining of God's countenance upon us flows out of His favor or grace. PSA 44:3. 4. Our salvation is in God's presence. MAT 1:21-23. 5. Hence, His countenance HELPS. PSA 46:1. F. God would command His lovingkindness in the daytime. v. 8. 1. The night of sadness would pass. PSA 30:5. Psalm 42 Page 2 of 3 2. That God would COMMAND His favor shows that it is something He bestows effectually as a Sovereign. PSA 33:9. 3. God gives a song in the night. JOB 35:10; PSA 63:5-6; 149:5. 4. Singing and praying would then characterize the night. ACT 16:25. G. He acknowledges God as the God of his life. He owned God as His Maker, Preserver, Provider, and Governor. H. He acknowledges God as the health of his countenance and His God. v. 11. 1. The help of His countenance is the health of ours. 2. God would cause the Psalmist's bearing, demeanor, and face to be lifted up. PSA 3:3; 30:10-12; 34:5. 3. When God's face shines upon us; when it is no longer hidden from us, His saving health is made known. PSA 67:1-2. 4. Mark the effect that having God as our God will have upon our countenances. REV 21:3-4. IX. Though robbed of the ordinances of his religion, it does not follow that one is robbed of God. A. Though God ties us to his ordinances when they are available, He does not tie Himself to them. B. Wherever this Psalmist was, he took his religion with him. C. One can remember God and pray to Him from wherever he is. JON 2:7; PSA 61:2. D. Whenever you are down, remember the Lord! E. Therefore, the banished can yet hope in the living God.