As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?"
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.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are at turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Psalm 42 moves me. This, of course, is intended. Poetry springs from the poet feeling, seeing, or experiencing something, and then through poetry attempting to covey that to others.
David here us crying out for God. We all experience times when we feel as if God is not there, and David clearly struggles with that here. I want to quickly point out three things I glean from this passage.
1) David desires a tangible communion with God. He desires to feel the presence of God, and this is a good thing.
2) David clearly acknowledges that this is not always a reality of life. And this is not, contrary to what some may teach, a result of sin or lack of faith on his part. No where in this Psalm does it indicate God is somehow punishing David. This is part of living life in a fallen world, even as one known and loved by God. We will not always feel Him.
3) David rests his hope in the rock-solid faithfullness of God. He perseveres through the hard and trying times, not by will power and grit, but by glancing back and seeing the work of God in the oast, and then fixing his gaze on the future, placing his hope in the future grace of God toward him.