Psalm 42

On a hot summer's day, nothing satisfies physical thirst quite like a cool drink of water, straight from a spring or a well. 

But what about spiritual thirst? 

We live in a world where many people are aware of their spiritual needs, but they do not know who or what can satisfy their deep, inner thirst.

When deer get hot, they pant to cool down, but as they do so, they start to dehydrate. A panting deer needs to get to water soon, otherwise it will be in danger.

The Psalmist likens himself to a deer that is panting and in danger.

He is not in need of water - he is in need of the living God.  

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
‘Where is your God?’
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon – from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
‘Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?’
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
‘Where is your God?’

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.

Psalm 42 (NIV)

What do you think?

If a thirsty, panting deer found a stream of water, would it need any encouragement to drink?

What about people?

Psalm 42  PHOTO (small) 

We know that we need to go to God, but often we look for life in all the wrong places. 

As a result, we become downcast and disturbed - even the Psalmist had this problem.

Twice in this short Psalm, he asks the same two questions:  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?

And twice he comes up with the same solution: Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

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