Posted By Nan

Psalm 42

This psalm starts with the well loved verse “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” NIV. It is a song of longing for God and is accompanied by reminiscences of the time when the psalmist was able to go worship with the community in the temple. The psalmist experienced great joy then but is downcast now because he is cut off from such worship of God. He misses the shared worship.
It is wonderful to worship with others but I suspect his sorrow is more about feeling cut off from God. Until Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, it was not possible to worship God anywhere. People at the time only experienced the Holy Spirit when worshipping in the temple, unless they were one of the prophets God sent the Holy Spirit to.
It is important to remember that we are not dependent on such worship to feel God is with us. We are not dependent on the presence of others to feel God’s Joy. It is lovely to be with other believers truly worshipping God, but it is important to note that not all groups of people singing praise songs to God are actually praising God. I have been in large groups of people singing praise songs and sought desperately a sign of the Holy Spirit being with the people in response to praise. I have been in a group of 2 or 3 and sung praise to God and been overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The psalmist’s joy was in his thirst for God being quenched by God’s presence. We can always experience God’s presence. We can always satisfy our longing for God.
How great are God’s blessings that He gave us Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit to give us constant access to God anywhere and anytime.

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