Psalm 421NIV New International Version Translations
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. 6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm. The Jews made them into two psalms about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth. They did this when they translated their Bible from Hebrew into Greek. We do not know who wrote the psalm. What we do know about this person is that:
- in the past he went to the house of God in Jerusalem (verse 4)
- he cannot go there now (verse 2)
- he hoped that one day he would go back to it (verse 5)
- he was now 200 kilometers north of Jerusalem (verse 6) and
- his enemy had taken him away from his home (Psalm 43:1).
Items for Discussion
- What is a prayer?
- Dictionary – noun
- a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God
- a religious service, especially a regular one, at which people gather in order to pray together.
- an earnest hope or wish.
- National Day of Prayer Task Force Definition: Prayer is dialog and relationship with God and has the power to change one heart and change an entire nation.
- Prayer has existed since the beginning of man – So why do we pray?
- Why is it helpful to sometimes have a guide like this psalm or other psalms to help us with our own prayers?
- How do the visions, the metaphors, which are created by this psalm help you focus on prayer and God?
- In what ways do we pray in the same way today (using metaphors, stories, etc.)?
- Do you think that the many laments of the psalmist are unique or are they typical of the sufferings of people today? Why or Why not?
- How might this psalm be used in worship?
1 Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. 2 You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? 3 Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Items for Discussion
- Why is it important to consider the content of Psalm 43 along with the message of Psalm 42?
- Idea: Psalm 42 describes the problems; psalm 43 describes the desired results.
- What are these two psalms together teaching us about our relationship God has with His people and how we should pray?
- How do you think one’s relationship with God is affected by prayer?
- Prayer is the ultimate expression of hope – how do you pass hope on to the next generation?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations