reading-the-psalmsPSALM 42

The 42nd psalm is a psalm of prayer in which the psalmist laments over his sorrow that God was angry with him and had afflicted him. Because of these he is mocked by the godless who taunt, “Where is your God now?” For the godless cannot restrain themselves; when they see that things go ill with the godly, they whistle, laugh, and wink: “Ah, how rightly this comes to pass!” So they say, “This is what happens to the heretics.” When someone else is troubled, they know nothing else than that it is a sure sign of God’s anger. But when they are troubled, then it can have no other meaning than that they are suffering for God’s sake and they must be God’s holy martyrs. These wrongheaded, blind, and poisonous guides for the blind will not understand that God flogs His own people, yet comforts them again and does not desert them. The psalmist on the other hand desires to come to God’s house and be comforted by the face of God. That is, he wants to truly hear God’s Word, which comforts him. For God’s house is that place where God’s Word is, and God’s face is His presence through which He makes Himself known and, by means of His Word, reveals His grace. Elsewhere in the Scripture (Jeremiah 2:27), it says to turn not your back, but your face toward God.

 

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 be- | fore God?

3 My tears have been my food | day and night,*

while they say to me continually, “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 with- | in me?*

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation | 6 and my God.

My soul is cast down with- | in 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 for- | gotten 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 continually, “Where | is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil with- | in me?*

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation | and my God.

PRAYER

You, O Lord, who are a God of consolation, comfort and strengthen all struggling hearts, and set Your bounds to the malice of their tempters and tormentors. Preserve and lead us in that way which You have mapped out for us, that, taking up our cross daily, we may follow in the footprints of our Lord to eternal glory. Amen.


From Reading the Psalms with Luther, pages 105–7 © 2007 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. ESV®
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