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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #151
Posted: May 19,2008

PSALM 42:1-5

Let us turn to a new Psalm of study this week.  We want to look at Psalm 42:1-5 which says, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 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. 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.”

            Many believe, this Psalm was written by David when he fled from Absalom. The title, ‘To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.’ Offers great meaning for us the readers.  This Psalm is called a ‘Maschil’, which is a Psalm of instruction.  It is something one would teach to others out of their own personal experience.  It is addressed to the sons of Korah.  These were certainly people who had a life experience of being forsaken by family.  If you remember one of their great grandfathers and many of their family were dropped into Hell with their clothes on because they dared to stand against Moses, God’s man.  These sons of Korah that David is writing to were the products of God’s sovereign grace when He chose to save them from out of the family while others went to Hell. We find also from our study that the sons of Korah were in charge of the music.  They were the ‘chief musicians’ or directors of temple worship.  This Psalm was written to encourage them and to be sung at public worship.

            I have entitled verses 1-5 “An Instructive Predicament”.  We find in verses 1-3 ‘The Predicament Of His Desire’.  David never mentions what his predicament is, but only deals with his desired response while going through it.  In this predicament three desires are manifested from David.  The first is found in verse 1 which is ‘A Panting Desire’.  Panting is to have a strong heart palpitation while trying to catch ones breath.  He pants for God like a deer pants for the water brook.  The deer would pant after the water as a ‘place of refuge’ when hunted by an enemy.  The deer would also seek the water as a ‘place of renewing’ when he was wounded by a hunter.  The second desired response is found in verse 2, which is ‘A Thirst’.  One who is hungry can often ignore their pain but if parched with thirst, this must be quenched. David’s thirst for the ‘living God’ could be summed up in three ideas.  One, He is the ‘original’ and only source of life. He is the ‘operative’ and only giver of life, and thirdly He stands in ‘opposition’ to all other gods that claim to have life.  The third desired response is in verse 3 and that is the ‘Search’.  David has lived upon his tears day and night while his soul has continually cried out, “Where is God?”  If Satan will attack us in any area it will be that God has forsaken us in our time of need.  Do not let our doubts turn to unbelief.  Take you doubts to the Lord.

            In verse 4 we find ‘The Predicament Of Devotion’.  David began to think upon his days of worship and praise at the house of God.  He remembers the assembling together with others on Holy day.  No doubt he remembered some of the grand services they had when God would manifest His presence.

            In verse 5 we find ‘The Predicament Of His Desperation’.  David begins to talk to himself with the question of ‘Why art thou cast down’?  It is the decease of the sheep when gases build up and they find themselves in the dying cockroach position.  He begins to hope in God.   In verse 1-3 Elohim is mention 5 times.  The God who makes all things from nothing is a God of grace.  In this focus of response David is brought into ‘hope’, which is confident expectation.  David believed by faith that he will yet praise Him and enjoy the blessing of the face of God’s countenance upon his life once again.  Let our predicaments of life find us panting, thirsting, and seeking after the God of all grace.  He can be found if we search for Him with all our heart.