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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 42

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The Second Book of Psalms (c 42-72)
Message: A Thirst for God (v 1-11)

Psalms 42 Commentary

(42:1) The Sons of Korah - Psalms 42 through 49 were written by the sons of Korah. Korah was a Levite who led a rebellion against Moses (Numbers 16:1-35). He was killed, but his descendants remained faithful to God and continued to serve God in the temple. David appointed men from the clan of Korah to serve as choir leaders (1 Chronicles 6:31-38), and they continued to be temple musicians for hundreds of years (2 Chronicles 20:18-19). You may have parents or ancestors who rejected God or rebelled against him. That doesn't need to be a curse on your life (see Ezekiel 18:19-24). You have liberty to break that cycle of history and start a new line of people loyal to God. 

(42:1-2) Seek the Lord -  As the life of a deer depends on water, so our lives depend on God. Those who seek him and long to understand him find never-ending life. Feeling separated from God, this psalm writer wouldn't rest until his relationship with God was restored because he knew that his very life depended on it. Do you thirst for God? Do your prayers reflect an urgent and intense desire to be with him? 

(42:4-5) Discouragement - The writer of this psalm was discouraged because he was exiled to a place far from Jerusalem and could not worship in the temple. During the God-given holidays, the Israelites were to remember all that God had done for them. Many of these feasts are explained in the chart. 

(42:5-6) Depression - Depression affects many people, requiring some to seek extensive counseling and medical help. God has given us counselors, doctors, and medicines to aid in healing, and meditating on the record of God's goodness to his people can also help us. Recalling how God has worked in our lives might help take our minds off the present situation and can give us hope that it will improve. It will focus our thoughts on God's ability to help us rather than on our inability to help ourselves. When you feel down or discouraged, take advantage of this psalm's advice. Read the Bible's accounts of God's goodness and meditate on them.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Thirst for God

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 42. In our text today, we see a theme of a thirst for God as penned by the sons of Korah, who were temple assistants. These men thirsted for God due to their time spent with God in His House. In making an application, we see the key to having a thirst for God is spending time with God in His House, the Church. Today, many don't know the importance of Church attendance and wonder why their relationship with God is cold and distant. The sons of Korah show us the key to being close to God is spending time with God in His House. How about you? Do you feel distant from God? Are you spending time in His House? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that a key to a thirst for God can be found by spending time worshiping Him in His House, the Church.  


Psalm 42

Psalm 42

 1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

 2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

 3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

 4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

 5Why 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.

 6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

 7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

 8Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

 9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

 10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

 11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.