We need desire no more to give us satisfaction of heart than the good that flows from God’s favor.
If we conscientiously follow His light and truth,
it will certainly bring us to His holy hill above.
1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
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.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 43 – “The Help of My Countenance”
The exiled king still pours out his soul to God. Already David has addressed Him as God of my life (Psalm 42:9); here God appeals to David as God of my strength, Psalm 43:2, and God my exceeding joy, Psalm 43:4. Speak well of thy God, even though His back seems turned on thee!
Thy light and thy truth, Psalm 43:3, may refer to the Urim and Thummim. Or we may think of them as two white-vestured angels sent from God’s presence-chamber to guide the exile’s steps back to his home. “Send them forth, commissioned to find me in this lone land and bring me to thine altar.” There seem to be four steps in the approach. Unto thy holy hill—this was Mount Zion. To thy tabernacles, the earthly Presence-chamber. Unto the altar of God. Here is a step in advance. Our altar is the Cross where Jesus died, Hebrews 13:10. But God’s altar is not enough; we need Him. So we still press on unto God my exceeding joy. Then the hue of health appears on our faces! See Psalm 43:5. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 43:4—O God my God.
What a change within the soul one short hour spent in God’s presence will prevail to make! The psalmist is opposed by an ungodly nation, and resisted by a deceitful and unjust man. He mourns because of the oppression of the enemy; he questions whether God has cast him off. Then led by those twin angels, Light and Truth, commissioned and sent forth for that purpose from the presence of God, he enters in thought and spirit within the precincts of the Divine Tabernacle, and stands before the Altar. Immediately the clouds break. Putting his puny hand upon the great God, he appropriates all He is and has, as though it were his own, and takes again, in a very ecstasy of realizing faith, his harp, too long silent, and breaks into rapturous melody.
Have you not sometimes groped in the dark, till those two angels have come to lead you also to the altar where the High Priest stands? Then what a change! Your circumstances have not altered, but you have conceived a new idea of what God can be to you. You have said, This God is my God for ever and ever. You have said, O God, My God! You have laid your hand on God’s wealth and called it all your own. You have chided your soul for being disquieted and depressed such a heritage is yours. You have spoken of God, first as the God of your strength; secondly, as the gladness of your joy; thirdly, as the health of your face.
“Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,
Or others—that we are not always strong,
That we are ever overborne with care,
That we should ever weak and heartless be,
Anxious or troubled when with us is prayer,
And joy and strength and courage are with Thee?” —Our Daily Homily