Psalm 43: Why are you cast down, O my soul? Hope in God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 43:5

A Prayer of Lament, A Prayer of Hope

Psalm 43 is a continuation of Ps. 42. The original poem was separated into the two psalms we have today so they could more easily be used for worship in the temple. As it stands, Ps. 43 shares features of a psalm of lament and a psalm of trust.

43:3, 4 Your light and Your truth: The psalmist asks God for deliverance. Only the “true light” of God could save the psalmist from the lies and darkness all about him. Your tabernacle: More than anything else the psalmist desires to rejoin the worshiping community in praising God.

3  Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. 4  Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.

43:5 Why are you cast down: These words are the refrain of this and the previous psalm. In time of doubt and stress, the poet urges his inner being, by the power of God, to keep believing. He knows that one day, by God’s grace, he will return to the place of praise to God, the center of worship in Jerusalem.

Why? The tone of voice used when we ask “why” tells so much. There’s a child’s complaining “why.” And there’s the despairing adult’s anguished “why,” drawn out by life’s unfairness. The repeated refrain, “Why are you downcast, O my soul,” of 42:5 11 is the despairing kind, for David says, “my soul is downcast” (42:5). Yet there is a subtle shift in tone, and excitement, as the question is repeated in 43:5. This is the “why” of freedom rediscovered. Why should I be downcast when my hope is in God?

5  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

** I see king David starting the poem in dismay. But he doesn’t stay there. When we pray, we get to travel from a low place to a higher place. The Holy Spirit, God Himself, gently guides us to find ourselves to get there.

 


43 1  Vindicate me, O God, And plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! 2  For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3  Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. 4  Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. 5  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *