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1 (To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.) As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Commentary for Psalms 42

The conflict in the soul of a believer.

1-5 The psalmist looked to the Lord as his chief good, and set his heart upon him accordingly; casting anchor thus at first, he rides out the storm. A gracious soul can take little satisfaction in God's courts, if it do not meet with God himself there. Living souls never can take up their rest any where short of a living God. To appear before the Lord is the desire of the upright, as it is the dread of the hypocrite. Nothing is more grievous to a gracious soul, than what is intended to shake its confidence in the Lord. It was not the remembrance of the pleasures of his court that afflicted David; but the remembrance of the free access he formerly had to God's house, and his pleasure in attending there. Those that commune much with their own hearts, will often have to chide them. See the cure of sorrow. When the soul rests on itself, it sinks; if it catches hold on the power and promise of God, the head is kept above the billows. And what is our support under present woes but this, that we shall have comfort in Him. We have great cause to mourn for sin; but being cast down springs from unbelief and a rebellious will; we should therefore strive and pray against it.

6-11 The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God's wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for. In the Saviour's name let us hope and pray. One word from him will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it. At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God. He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then plead it to God.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 42

  • God's follower
    my soul depends on god, without him i am weak. i acknowledge that with him all my trials are brought to nought, i willingly give over my soul unto him. why worry and be trouble heart for he is the reassurance of my health and my light in the dark paths
  • Seven Trumpets
    Patricia Balla; the Lord knows the way that you take, as do all your true brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm very sorry about your son; and I hate that anyone said those things to you, to hurt you. I will never understand how so many people can go in the way of Cain, with all their hatred and hostility toward Jesus, and no fear of God to inflict pain and hurt upon the broken in heart.
  • Seven Trumpets
    God called David from following sheep, to be the shepherd of His people Israel; which was the very thing that the haters of the LORD could not stand. This "Instruction for the Door-keepers" of the LORD's house, teaches about the sorrows we must bear up under, before we come and appear before God. Sadness over when people want to hurt us and mock us is not a mark of God's displeasure, but of favor.
  • Patricia Balla
    This psalm means the world to me.
    When my son was diagnose with stage 4 colon cancer at age 32 ,
    I had shared the news to 3 personal good friends . They all said to me " where is your God ???" Your always perching to us !!!
    I was floored ! Instead of receiving
    Compassion from them . Father God put words in my mouth to respond to them ! He told me to say " He's right here with me !"
  • Nina negron
    I asked god for a verse and this is what I heard, I'm trying to salvage what little I have left. So I'm confused but in jesus I trust.
  • Matilda Wonson
    The psalm is telling you not to give up but hope in god it is saying to wait expectantly for him and in waiting praise him who is the help of my countenance.
  • Felicia
    Verse 4
    I had lived a moment with the presence of the Lord in the church and in my life that I enjoyed much. However in recent years I agree with king David, my spiritual is up and down and my soul longs more and more for the Lord than ever before. But thank God for verse 8 that brings hope into my heart.
  • Sarah ann
    So beautiful

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Bible Trivia

In Psalm 42, the soul panting for God is compared to what?
  • A Deer
  • A Dog
  • A Bird
  • A Fish
  • A Horse