Hey everyone, I’m excited to announce that the writing for Psalm 42 was completed in just a few days. I’d been looking forward to this psalm for quite some time, and the song just poured out of me quickly. It is a deep cry from the psalmist to his own soul to hope in God, to not be discouraged. It speaks especially to these times, when it is so easy to be discouraged at the despair savaging our world.
Most people think of verse 1 when they think of Psalm 42: “As the deer pants for the flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.” The image of the deer panting for water is a sad and disturbing image, setting the tone for a psalm about spiritual depression. The great preacher, Martin Lloyd Jones, actually wrote an entire book on this psalm titled Spiritual Depression.
Throughout the psalm, the psalmist fights for joy in God, encouraging himself that he will, in fact, praise God again. Psalm 43 follows with a more hopeful take on the same situation (the two used to be one single psalm, and Psalm 43 ends with the same refrain).
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).