Streams of Water

Psalm 42 (NIV)


As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
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[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

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.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

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.

The idea that those who follow God are always blessed or will never face any trouble and hardships can be further from the truth.  We read about the promises written in the Scriptures that if we follow and obey God, we will receive blessings (Deuteronomy 28:2).  We look around and see that those who do not obey God are prosperous and successful in the material world.  We looked at the life of Job and how he was blameless, yet went through suffering.

This passage shows us that the godly face their discouragement as well.  The Psalmist paints a picture of how he longs for God just as a deer pants for streams of water.  He is living on this earth, facing the jeers of his enemies who taunt him about the absence of his God.  However, he asks himself why is his soul downcast and why is he mourning?  He starts to remember how God is ultimately in control and that by putting his hope in God, he can praise him and once again feel an inner joy.  The hope that he has for God quenches the thirst of his soul. Even Jesus said that those who come to him will never thirst again.

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