Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Broken and Redeemed – Naomi – Loss and Loneliness

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Week One – Day 5 FridayWK01D05
Read PSALM 42 SOAP Psalm 42:11

What truths about God’s character can bring us comfort during times of loss?

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and 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 do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

O – This is a period of deep mourning and loss, to the point of “tears have been my food day and night.” (v. 3) And while the psalmists are honest about being “downcast” and in turmoil, it is also noted that God is the source of hope and salvation. How is that voiced?
• My soul pants for you, as a deer pants for water (v. 1) A physical response to deeply desiring God – a basic need
• These things I remember – times of worship and praise in the past (v. 4) – by recalling the past – the psalmist brings back the importance of his past experiences with God
• I pour out my soul (v. 4) – being honest with God, not covering up how he feels
• I hope in God – my salvation and my God (v. 5, 11)
• For again I WILL praise Him (v. 5,11) – despite outward circumstances – he CHOOSES to praise, even if it is in the future.
• I remember – from Hermon and Mizar (v. 6) (see Wiersbe notes)
• Voicing that God’s love and “song” is with me (v. 8) – declaring God’s presence orally brings my heart around
• Prayer (v. 8) – calling to God in prayer brings us closer to Him, and changes our focus
• Questions God honestly – why have you forgotten me? Why is the enemy oppressing me? (v. 9)
• Soul searching – WHY are you cast down? WHY are you in turmoil? (V5, 11)

A – It is reassuring to read psalms like this, even with the emotional ups and downs, to see that we can be honest with our feelings with God, and YET hope in His deliverance and KNOW that He is present. It is interesting that GOD (Jehovah), the powerful God is used throughout the psalm, and once , when God’s love and presence is voiced, the word LORD (Elohim – the covenant God) is used. He remembers that the LORD promised to “never leave or forsake.” This is where he used prayer!

It is right, it is the only thing to do – to pour out our hearts to God in the midst of our despair. It is SO evident here! He even questions God! WHY? WHY, God? But he also remembers the past, and God’s presence. He chooses to praise – as painful as that is. He voices, out loud, God’s faithfulness and presence. He searches his soul – to see WHY he is struggling.

What is my reaction to distress? And – what should it be when I face it again? I need to remember that it is appropriate to ask God questions. WHY? WHAT? But, it is not OK to question God. I see the difference. It is NOT – “God , YOU made this happen. WHY?”. It is more, “God, THIS happened – WHY is this in Your plan? WHAT can You bring from this?” Also – it is important to recall God’s faithfulness in the past. To voice – out loud – His presence. To call out to Him. To pour out my soul honestly to Him. To praise Him (in the storm). To search my soul – what am I doing to make this situation what it is?

And – at the end. Declare that God is God. To “hope in God; for I SHALL AGAIN praise Him, my salvation and my God.” I WILL. I WILL praise Him. I will PRAISE Him.

P – Father God, I praise You for who You are. You are God, Jehovah, Almighty. And You are also Elohim, my covenant God. You are faithful. You are my Rock. And You love me. Forgive me for the times that I question You, and not ask you questions. Bring me to the place of trust in You – for each circumstance of my life. Help me to recall your faithfulness and presence. May I voice that to those who are struggling today, or in my conversations in the future. Thank You, loving Father, for Your steadfast love. Thank You for Your salvation. Thank You for Your promises – ever faithful. Amen.

Study Notes –
Hope – Yhl – to wait; to cause to hope (v. 5, 11)
Remember – e- to name, mention, remember; mention, make known, profess, praise (v. 6)
The writer poured out his soul in prayer (v. 4; 62:8), pleading for the Lord to set him free and take him back to Jerusalem. But then he confronted himself (v. 5) and admonished himself not to be downcast but to hope in the Lord and wait on Him. The repetition of this admonition (v. 11; 43:5) suggests that the writer was having his “ups and downs” as he struggled with his circumstances and himself. He would find his consolation and peace only in the Lord and not in nature (vv. 1, 6-7), memories (v. 4), or nursing grief (v. 3). His hopes had been shattered, his prayers were unanswered, his enemies were vocal, and his feelings were more than he could handle; but God was still on the throne. (Warren Wiersbe – Be Series)
Reference to the Jordan, Hermon and Mt. Mizar – (v. 6) The Jordan River has its source in the Hermon range, and the rains and melting snow would turn the rivulets into cascades of water and dangerous cataracts, a picture of intense suffering (69:1-2; 88:7; Jonah 2:3). “Mizar” means “littleness,” and certainly the writer felt very small in the midst of that storm. But he made a wise decision when he decided to remember God and not “the good old days” (v. 6). The cascades, cataracts, and waves were His, and the psalmist had nothing to fear. (Warren Wiersbe – Be Series)
In verse 8, the writer used Jehovah instead of Elohim, and this was a turning point in his difficult experience. Jehovah is the God of the covenant, the faithful God who cares for His people. He is the God who showers His people with loving-kindness, gives them promises they can claim when they pray, and hears them when they praise and worship. The writer didn’t have to go to Jerusalem to worship; he could worship God right where he was! The hand of God was with him in the daytime and the song of the Lord in the long hours of the night. Everything might be changing, but the Lord was still his Rock–stable, strong, and unchanging. (See 18:2, 31, 46; Ex. 33:22; Deut. 32:4; 1 Sam. 2:2.) (Warren Wiersbe – Be Series)

Why are You Downcast Oh my Soul? –
Why are you downcast, Oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Why are you downcast, Oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God
Put your hope in God
Put your hope in God
Yet will I praise Him
Yet will I praise Him,
My Savior, My God

Deep calls to deep at the roars 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


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