WHY SO DOWN CAST? This too shall pass :)

Psalms Chapter 42 #Castdown #Hope #Trust #light  #God  (Unless otherwise stated, all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.) This is a long one, but I think that it is worth reading.

“It is not our trust that keeps us, but the God in whom we trust who keeps us.” – Oswald Chambers

 

Context

Theological scholars propose that Psalms 42 and 43 were written as a single poem (Longman 2014, 193). The evidence for this assertion is that the following refrain is repeated in both Psalms. “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.”

The psalmist is ‘downcast’ (verse 6b).
He feels as if God has forgotten him (v.9-10).

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
“Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours? (THE MSG)


He is ‘mourning, feels oppressed by the enemy’ (v.9b). 

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
“Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
harassed by enemies?” (9b The MSG)

He is in emotional and spiritual ‘agony’ (v.10a). To top it off people are actually taunting him, saying, ‘Where is your God?’ (v.10b) – rather like the way some people may be taunting Christians during this pandemic. 

They’re out for the kill, these
    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours?” (The MSG)

  • Psalm 42:5 “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.”
  • Psalm 42:11 “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,” and
  • Psalm 43:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

The second point, to support this argument, is the fact that Psalm 43 does not have a title. It does show up in The Psalter as a separate Psalm.  Scholars cite ancient Manuscripts as indicating that Psalm 42 and 43 were at one time one Psalm.  It has also been argued that the Septuagint separated the psalms. When one looks at a current version of the Masoretic Text [A Hebrew – English Bible: According to the Masoretic Text and the JPS 1917 Edition.] For the purpose of this study, we will combine the psalms.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?

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.

This simile of David’s is probably one of the most famous metaphors in the entire psalm. Unless one lives in the country where they have actually seen the deer come out of the woods parched and dry, due to the lack of rain, the visualization of the reality of this verse is lost. The expression denotes and connotes a desire that is as strong as life itself. The writer’s desire to know and grow closer to God is like that of the quenching of one’s thirst. All living things need water!

That is one of the basic things in the life cycle of God’s creation. One cannot be a living, growing child of God without refreshing one’s soul with the watering of His Holy Word. If you have any kind of plants at all, you will know that when you have forgotten to water them for any period of time, they will begin to wilt, especially peace lilies.

But when you do water them, there is a sucking sound in the pot as the soil sucks up the much-needed water and expels the air that has gathered in the pot! Cayce believes that David wrote this psalm and this verse in particular “at a time when he could not just’ leave his home and go to worship in the temple (Cayce 2018, Psalm 42).

Friends we are in that very same place, today.

We are locked into our homes. We think that we cannot reach out and touch our brothers and sisters. We think that we cannot experience that sweet communion that one enjoys when they are together with the family of God during a church event. But – here is the BIG BUT, we can! wE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL ENABLE US TO DO JUST THAT.

To continue the thought of the plant. Like the dried out plant his 2  soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Matthew 5:6 The Message (MSG)”You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” That is why individual Bible Study of God’s word is so important. Especially, the New Testament? WHY? That is where living for God becomes more real. Now we learn that even thinking about the sin makes us sinful. Not so in the Old Testament!

3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 4When 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 holy day.

David felt like Hannah did in 1 Sam. 1:3-8 The Message (MSG) Every year this man went from his hometown up to Shiloh to worship and offer a sacrifice to God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, served as the priests of God there. When Elkanah sacrificed, he passed helpings from the sacrificial meal around to his wife Peninnah and all her children, but he always gave an especially generous helping to Hannah because he loved her so much and because God had not given her children. But her rival wife taunted her cruelly, rubbing it in and never letting her forget that God had not given her children. This went on year after year. Every time she went to the sanctuary of God she could expect to be taunted. Hannah was reduced to tears and had no appetite. {Note the taunting was not occurring at home. It was happening in the sanctuary of God! That is why the pain was so intense for Hannah.] Her husband Elkanah said, “Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren’t you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?”

Now the psalmist laments about the fact that his enemies as asking him “Where is thy God?” They are actually taunting him. David response with “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 holy day.” 

We will experience pain in this life. Nothing is more intense than when church family members are hateful to each other. This is what David was experiencing. These people were people with whom he had worshipped. My response to this is that it happened then and it will happen again. How we allow it to affect us determines whether or not we realize that we serve a “Warrior King!” We can smile and still love those haters because we are children of The Almighty! Have you ever seen how a hen protects her chicks? That is how God feels about us. This too shall pass. 

God is Your Hope!

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.

The pity party may be coming to an end. Just look at what David declares! This is David’s “Even if” moment. He declared

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?

Hope thou in God: [Yes it is rough right now. Yes, I am in pain. Yes, my friends have become my enemies. Yes,they are taunting me! But I am a Child of THE KING! So,] Longman brings David’s attitude towards God to our attention by citing 

Psalm 77:6-8 (ESV) I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?” (Longman 2014, 194). That is a desperate prayer. 

I shall yet praise him, for the help of his countenance.”  We have hope not just in the fact that when this life is over all of our troubles are over, but we have in this life too. John 10:10 reminds us that “

The thief [the enemy] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

We thought the party was over then oops!

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

He is on a sinking ship. ” I am drowning God. Help me!” Sounds familiar? Well, Peter said it too! 

Matthew 14:29-30 The MSG “He said, “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” Now let’s be real. We are in a boat in the middle of the sea! Jesus beckons to us to join Him because we kind of asked him if we could. We are walking on water! We realize that we are walking on water and reality kicks in! 

Let me be truthful here.  I don’t even like being in a boat on the water. This chap is accepting an invitation to “walk on” water! He is brave, and then he realizes that he is just like “Joyce.” I don’t do water anything – except my plants, water therapy, and shower!  Christ rescued him from himself. He will rescue us too! Just read this verse in Matthew 10:29-31 MSG

“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries. 29-31“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk.

You’re worth more than a million canaries. 29-31“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk.

You’re worth more than a million canaries.” God always has, and will still take care of His children. We just have to – WAIT ON HIM TO ACT!

David realized that. Look at what he says here:

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

When we lift up our hands in worship and praise God, we are more aware of His excellence. He is great, and all is well! Then we leave the church and go back to life, and all of a sudden the enemy gives us a reality check, and we go back to

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?” We have a relentless persecutor! Can sit back and ask why is David like this?

When was the last time that life kicked you in the teeth multiple times in a row and you just wanted to crawl under the bed? That is how he feels! That is how many of us feel today! We have hope. Just trust in the Lord. Obey him, and the authorities. Look at what David decided to do as he was attempting to crawl out of the abyss of blackness that surrounded him.

 I am sure that he read the Scriptures and they remind him that he should be asking himself a question, but he should also know the answer!

We do not own the rights to any video on this devotional. They are posted as encouragement for all of us during this time of trouble.

Prayer: Lord all may appear to be bleak. The blackness of life and this disease may be creeping into the recesses of our souls but we will trust you. We will stand on your word. We have trusted you in sickness, want, during deep troubles before and you have always been there for us. This very breath that we breathe does not belong to us. You gave it to us on the day that we were born. We know that it will return to you when YOU determine that our life’s journey is over. Until then I will TRUST in you to supply all of my needs according to your riches in glory. I do pray for the sick of heart, the informed of spirit, and the wondering thoughts od my brothers and sisters all over the world.  Your name is YHYH Rophe= the Lord our healer. I believe it, receive it and grasp unto it in Jesus’ name AMEN AND AMEN!

 

https://youtu.be/qv-SXz_exKE

References

Cayce, Ken. 2020. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed April 7, 2020.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed April 7, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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