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As the Deer Pants for the Water Brooks

July 7, 2017


As the Deer Pants for the Water Brooks

Psalm 42:1-2  —  As the deer pants  for the water brooks,  so my soul  pants for Thee,   O God.     My soul thirsts  for God,   for the living God…

The writer  of this Psalm  was  in deep despair.     Israel had repeatedly sinned  and refused  to listen  to God’s prophets.     God said  if they didn’t straighten out,  He would let the enemy  defeat them  and then send them  into exile.

Of course, they foo-fooed  that prophecy  and refused  to listen.     So,  the enemy came  and defeated them.     God let the enemy  get the better  of them  as a punishment  for their refusal  to obey.     When they got hauled off  into exile,  they finally realized  that they were getting  a just punishment.     They deserved  God’s promised wrath.

During all their time  in exile,  they learned  to repent.     They finally knew  what it meant  to really want God  to be  in their whole lives.     They finally thirsted  for God  and His salvation.

Now,  they understood  what it meant  to be sorry  for their sins  and see the excellence  of God’s ways  —  not to mention  the foolishness  of their ways.     They thought about  how good  God had been  to them.     God had blessed them  with so much,  but they didn’t appreciate  His blessings.     As a matter of fact,  they had felt  all their blessings  were a result  of their own work  and talent.     They had not felt  a need  for God.

But,  in exile,  life was miserable.     Their enemies  would taunt them,  “Where is your God?”

In other words,  the enemy was saying,  “See,  we beat you.    Your “god” is not stronger  than our gods.     Your “god” doesn’t even exist.     See what a fool  you’ve been  for trusting  in the “LORD”.     Ha!     Our religion  is obviously better  than yours.”

The Israelites  were really disturbed  about that  because they knew  they were being punished  just as God said  they would be punished.     In the same breath,  they remembered  that the LORD  is a merciful God,  who would help them  as they turned their whole hearts  and lives over  to Him.

So,  in verse 5, they examine their hearts  and make themselves remember  the truths  about God  that they had learned  in their youth.     They asked themselves…

Why are you  in despair,  O my soul?     And why  have you become disturbed  within me?     Hope in God,  for I shall again praise Him  for the help  of His presence.

We need to realize this  when our heavenly Father needs  to punish us  for our rebellion.     Whatever we need to bear,  as a result  of our sins,  should be used  to turn our hearts back  to our LORD   and remember  His faithful love  in Christ.     So,  in verse 8 the psalmist remembers…

The LORD will command  His lovingkindness  in the daytime;  and His song  will be with me  in the night,  a prayer  to the God  of my life.

This is God’s promise  to us  all throughout  every single trial we face  on this earth.     He does not leave us.     So,  we should not dare  to harden our hearts  against the Almighty.     He understands  all our weaknesses  and lovingly desires  to forgive us  and help us  to grow  in the true faith.

That is why the psalmist  “gets after his feelings”  at the end  of his psalm.    He reminds himself  that he needs  to remember the truth  of God’s love  over and above  any feelings  he has about his punishment.     So,  he ends his psalm with verse 11

Why are you in despair,  O my soul?     And why have you become disturbed  within me?     Hope in God,  for I shall yet  praise Him,  the help  of my countenance,  and my God.

This is just what we need  to say  to ourselves.     God’s love  and faithfulness  is constant,  even as we are stumbling around  in our sins.     We know  how God has kept all  of His promises (prophecies)  throughout history.    We can trust Him  to keep His promise  of faithfulness  to us,  also.

Our job is  to learn  to trust  and have faith  in the saving love  of our LORD  and Savior.

When we do,  it will be such a relief!     And,  we will exclaim,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD is faithful  —  even to me!”




A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.



The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4


Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13


O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3




Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12








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