Psalm Forty Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.

sons of Korah. This is the first of eleven psalms referring to “the sons of Korah” (Psalm 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87, 88). The sons of Korah were a Levitical singing group during the reigns of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 6:16, 22-48).

Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

living God. Psalm 42 is the heart-cry of a true believer in “the living God,” who (like Job) had seemingly been forgotten by God, and who longed for some concrete evidence that He was still there.

Psalm 42:3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

Psalm 42:4 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.

Psalm 42:5 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.

Why art thou cast down. Instead of complaining and asking God why He had been forgotten, the trusting believer instead questions his own soul. Why should he be discouraged, since God does exist and does care, in spite of the immediate circumstances. There is such a thing as a “trial of your faith” (1 Peter 1:7), and it is vital that we endure such testings (James 1:12), repeatedly reminding ourselves to “hope thou in God.” In good time we again shall see “the help of His countenance.”

Psalm 42:6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Psalm 42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Deep calleth unto deep. This remarkable phrase seems to refer to a thunderous oceanic tornado (“waterspout”) extending all the way from the ocean “deep” to the cloudy “deep” of the heavens; generating mighty billows on the deep sea.

Psalm 42:8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Yet the Lord. Even in such tumultuous times, the Lord is still with us day and night, though our enemies deride us for trusting in a God who seems (for the present) not to answer.

Psalm 42:9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Psalm 42:10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

Psalm 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.