12/17 Psalm 42:1-5 Praise God In the Midst of Distress——To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
（Memorization Scripture: vv. 5）
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
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 continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
[Sharing] Psalms 42 and 43 are the first and second parts of the same psalm, and they echo each other. The psalmist was the descendant of those who once were so rebellious against God and should have been swallowed by the earth (See Numbers 16), and yet they were saved by the grace of God. During the time of David, there were a group of people among the sons of Korah who were delegated to sing in the temple of God (such as Heman, one of the three chief musicians). The psalmist presumably should also serve as a musician in the temple of God. Now, being held captive during war or for some other unknown reason, he was left in a strange place, apart from the presence of God, and unable to participate in any worship service. He described that his soul pants for God as the deer pants for the water brooks. People saw and mocked him saying “where is your God?” making him so depressed that his tears had been his food day and night.
The psalmist is saddened even more recalling a time when he and the people headed to the temple of God singing praises to keep a feast. But at the same time, this memory became a turning point which led to verse 5. In both Psalm 42 and 43, verse 5 acts as a chorus which is repeated three times to portray the psalmist’s strong emotions.
Everyone of us can fall down into a spiritual low place while walking the path of faith, and it might seem that we will never get back to those reviving and glorious moments when we dwelled in the temple of God. When we are cast down, we are easily disquieted and can lose all hope, but in such times, this psalmist, who carried the mark of grace, reminds our worried heart to “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance” (v. 5). We too are sinners saved by grace, and God will not remember our rebellion to Him. When we are still wandering in the wilderness and as long as our soul pants for His presence, He will be there as always helping us with His countenance.
12/17 詩篇42:1-5 在困境中讚美 神——流亡者之歌
2 我的心渴想 神，就是永生 神，
詩篇四十二篇和四十三篇是一首詩的上和下，前後呼應。作者是先祖曾經背叛 神本該全部被地吞滅（見民數記16章），卻因著 神的恩典而留下來的後裔。從大衛的時代開始，這些人有一些是派在 神的殿中歌唱的 （例如希幔是三位伶長之一）。這首詩的作者應該也是原來在聖殿服事音樂的。現在，不曉得是因為戰爭被擄，還是其他的原因，他流亡在沒有 神同在的異地，不得參與敬拜。他形容自己渴慕 神的同在，好像鹿渴慕溪水一樣。人看見他的景況嘲笑他：「你的 神在哪裡呢？」令他越發沮喪到甚至晝夜以眼淚當飲食。
每一個人的信仰之旅都有可能落在沮喪谷，似乎無法再回到以往住在 神殿中復興的光景。我們在沮喪中，很容易煩躁、失去盼望。但是，這個身上帶著 神恩典記號的詩人，提醒自己憂悶的心，「應當仰望 神，因祂笑臉幫助我，我還要稱讚祂。」我們也是一樣蒙恩的罪人， 神不記念我們的背逆，在我們流盪在外的時候，只要我們渴慕見祂的面，祂就還是一如以往的用祂的笑臉幫助我們。