God often teaches His saints effectually to know the worth of His mercies by causing them to feel the want of them.
A believing confidence in God is the best antidote against disquietude of spirit.
The way to forget our miseries is to rest in the God of our mercies.
1 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.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 42 – Thirsting after God
This psalm clearly embalms the holy musings and yearnings of the exiled king during Absalom’s rebellion. Their setting to music was left to the sons of Korah, II Chronicles 20:19. It was a great favorite with the early Church, driven to the Catacombs, on the walls of which are many designs of hunted deer.
The water brooks, Psalm 42:1-3. The hind suffers much from the sultry heat, but it dare not linger too long at the water-hole, because the wild beasts gather there. We never realize the value of God’s house till we are compulsorily separated from its sacred rites. How blessed it is to return to the sanctuary after such separation! “In the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple” Psalm 5:7.
The blessed past, Psalm 42:4-6. Exiled to the Hermons, beyond the Jordan, the fugitive recalls the festal crowds, wont to gather at the holy feasts. But when such thoughts oppress us, we should turn our hearts to God and in touching Him, we cease to be lonely. See Hebrews 12:22, etc.
The bitter present, Psalm 42:7-11. The day of pain and rebuke, when the heart is pierced, is the day of God! “His lovingkindness;” “his song;” “the God of my life;” “God my rock;” “the health of my countenance;” “my God”—what a heritage is this! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 42:7—Deep calleth unto deep.
There are wonderful harmonies in nature. Voices call to one another across vast spaces. The depths below the firmament call to the heights above. The deep of the ocean calls to the deep of the azure sky. Listen, O my soul, to the mighty voices sounding ever through the universe of God.
The deep of Divine Redemption calls to the deep of human need.—It sometimes seems as though the opposite were true, and as though the cry originated in man; but it is not so. God is always first; and as He looks into hearts stricken and desperate, conscious of unfathomable yearnings, and infinite capacity, He calls aloud, and the depth of his heart appeals to the depth of the heart of man. Would that it might ever answer back!
The deep of Christ’s wealth calls to the deep of the saint’s poverty.—He looks down upon our attenuated and poverty-stricken experience with an infinite yearning. He cannot endure that we should go through life naked and miserable, poor and blind, when He has got gold, and precious stones, and white raiment. “Hearken, O daughter, and consider. Forget thy father’s house. Come unto Me, and receive from my fulness. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
The deep of the Holy Spirit’s intercession calls to the deep of the Church’s prayer.—He awakens in us groanings that cannot be uttered, and burdens no with the will of God.
Whatever depths there are in God, they appeal to corresponding depths in us. And whatever be the depths of our sorrow, desire, or necessity, there are correspondences in God from which full supplies may be obtained. Thou hast the pitcher of faith, and the well is deep. —Our Daily Homily