Bountiful Spirit - March 8, 2021
As the deer longs for the water-brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God.My soul is a thirst for God, a thirst for the living God; when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long they say to me,
“Where now is your God?”
I pour out my soul when I think on these things: how I went with the multitude and led them into the house of God,With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, among those who keep holy day.
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? And why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
Reflection by Janet White
Psalm 42 has been described as a lamentation. The sons of Korah had been cast out of Jerusalem where they were once allowed to freely worship God. The imagery of a deer thirsting for water is compared to the soul’s thirst for God. For the psalmist, water appears as tears. He sings, “My tears have been my food day and night.” However, in spite of being rejected and feeling heaviness in his soul, he puts his trust in God and still gives thanks to Him.
These poetic images tell me to resist the disquiet and emptiness I often feel by persevering in my faith.
It is worthwhile to learn the context for this Psalm. Its author descended from one of the great rebels, Korah, who turned on both Moses and God and was destroyed as a result. Over time God forgave his descendants and they were given special responsibilities—among other duties they provided music. A Google search for sons of Korah is a good way to learn their fascinating history.