5. Hope in Troubles
Psalms 42 and 43
Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5
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.
David felt like all the waves and billows swept over him. Three times he asked, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”
His enemies asked him, “Where is your God?” They worshipped idols. David, an exile, could not attend the temple services. To the Israelite in Old Testament times these services made up the chief means of approaching God. Tears ran down David’s cheeks day and night. He poured out his soul unto God.
Now he was shut off from these services. He fled from Jerusalem because his son, Absalom, usurped the throne. Though David had confessed his sin with Bathsheba, and been forgiven, he still suffered its consequences. He may have felt God was angry with him.
David meditated on the time he enjoyed sweet communion with God in His house. He had joy and praised God. He enjoyed the fellowship with God and other believers. He attended the holy days. Now an exile from the palace, he could not go to the temple.
He felt despondent as if he had gone down to the depths of the sea. He said, “All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.”
What could David do in these dire circumstances? Often, people become bitter when everything seems against them. David loved the Lord, and turned to Him for comfort. He encouraged himself in the Lord. He said, “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.”
He said unto God his Rock, “Why hast Thou forgotten me?” He mourned because the enemy oppressed him. He felt as if a sword entered his bones from their reproach. He repeated, “They daily say unto me, Where is thy God?”
He asked two more times, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” He asked God to judge him, and plead for him “against an ungodly nation. O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.”
He turned to God for strength. “Thou art the God of my strength.” He pled, “O send out Thy light and Thy truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me unto Thy holy hill…Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. Yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God.” David was skilled upon the harp. He believed one day he would return to Jerusalem, to the temple. He wanted to give his best unto the Lord.
David’s hope was in God. He helped him, and gave him spiritual health. David praised his God even in exile.
What would we do if the enemy took us to a foreign land? He captured us and in his country no churches existed where we could meet with God’s people. In such a situation some professing Christians would become bitter. Others like David would encourage themselves in the Lord, and not give up their hope. If we belong to Jesus, we have an eternal hope, the hope of Heaven. No enemy can take that away from us.
Would we hunger and thirst for God as David did? Would we turn to Him in prayer and complain to Him? Would we earnestly plead to God for mercy? What if the enemy took our Bible away? Do we know enough Scripture to sustain us in such a case? Determine now whatever the case to let God comfort you and do not give up hope.
Lynn and Leon, her beloved husband, served as missionaries to the Navajo Indian for several years. After God took her honey to Heaven, He called her to write for Him. Many of her articles found publication, and two Sunday School curriculum packages. Ambassador International published her first book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. More information is available at www.writingfrommyheart.com.