Midweek Message 24 January 2024

Thank you to Phillip for this week’s message.

Psalm 42

Psalms 42 and 43 were probably one Psalm; note that there is the same refrain in 42:5,42:11 and 43:5. The theme and circumstances of the writer seem to very similar in both psalms.

Psalm 42 was evidently written by a person who was experiencing loneliness and depression; the psalm speaks very clearly to those of us who may be enduring similar difficulties and pain, but it is also a call to us to walk alongside those in our communities who feel this way and take action to help and support them. It has been said that a friend is someone who sings with us on the mountain top and walks silently with us in the valley, may God enable us to reach out to those who are hurting in any way.

In verses 6 and 7 following thinks of the power of the deep ocean and his troubles seemed like the waves of the sea rolling over him. In verse 7b he declares that ‘all your waves and breakers have swept over me’. In times like these we need to hold fast to God’s promises like the one we find in Isaiah 43:2:

Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—

The Message.

Sometimes reading a verse in a different translation can really illuminate the meaning for us, and I hope this will be so for you.

Thankfully, the psalmist did not allow a sense of hopelessness to utterly cast him down. He remembers that God is the living God (42:2). He calls to mind that God is my Saviour and My God. And in the small hours of the night, he remembers that ‘by day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me. The wee small hours of the night tend to have a habit of enlarging our fears and anxieties; it is at those times we need to call to remembrance God’s faithfulness and steadfast love and that He can rescue us. See also 1 Corinthians 10:13: All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. The Message.

The Psalm ends with verse 11 repeating verse 5:

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Saviour and my God.

Wednesday’s suggestion:

Remember God’s faithfulness each day and ask God to help us to let our times of difficulty and anxiety bring us closer to Him.