Psalm 42 described a situation that is all too real for many who are sincere. There are many obstacles in our path and most are not new, they are the same old aches and pains that the body and the heart know too well. They are deadly dull to think about, brutally draining of our energy and attention. "I have always gone to church... why do I feel as far away from God as ever?"
The heart is willing to go on, even in despair like a trusty steed; but logical thought quits and becomes dismayed when there seems to be no solution. I'm not sure why, but the intelligence that serves man so well when things are going right seems to go south when things get tough. There is a part of the personality that cannot let go of its doubt and uncertainty even when things are going well. But there is also a part of us that knows about trust and is not afraid of death. For some of us Psalm 43 is the heart of this darkness. We must make a choice between which part of our personality we are going to let be our guide.
43. A Time to Choose
Take up your decision, O Lord, and choose me over an ungodly nation; deliver me from the liars and unjust men. You are the God of my strength, why have You abandoned me? Why am I in mourning because of the trouble my enemies make?
Send out your light and your truth, let them lead me. Let them bring me to your holy hill and into your house. Then will I go up to your altar and be joyful, I will sing praises and play music to You, O God my God.
Why am I still downhearted, why is my soul so troubled? My hope is in God and I will praise Him regardless. My face will show my enemies the power of my God.
We are in a unique and dangerous position at this point on our path through the psalms. We have gained through our doing and thinking and feeling some understanding of our position. We are Godís people destined for eternal life but we are also very small and nearly powerless in the grand scheme. We are actively seeking Godís will in our lives and we have begun to drop the fantasy world of our self importance and imaginary power. It seems like we have let down our defenses but have not gained enough yet to protect us from the danger.
The next step we must take, the next decision is about what we are going to allow to lead us. In this lesson we ask the Lord to take up the decision, to choose us over an ungodly nation but it is also our decision. We are still burdened with free will and it is up to us to make the same choices that our Lord would make if He were here. We have already been given eternal life so we donít need to defend ourselves anymore but our bodies cannot accept that fact. The body is a wonderful machine but it will eventually wear out without ever understanding why or that we are more than the machine.
We look for the light and truth to lead us. We sing praises and make joyful music on our trip toward the Holy Hill because we decide it is the right path to take. The machine in us feels threatened and responds with feelings of downheartedness but we overlook it the same way we overlook a crying child who wants more candy. We see the trouble within and without but choose to endure patiently while living in our hopes.
Read more articles by Greg Pike or search for articles on the same topic or others.