Psalm 42 is similar to many Psalms in that it has a few themes to it. The psalm starts with an expression of a longing for God. In the next theme the Psalmist asks questions, to both God and himself. Perhaps the most striking question is verse 2:  “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?”   Three thousand years ago the lives of the people were not that different from us today. The questions in this Psalm are questions most all of us have asked at some point in our lives. The longing for God is some thing that exists in people of all times, cultures and places.

The Psalm has a repeating verse (5 and 11) :

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my savior and my God.

The question is asked, even as the answer is already known. The writer knows the soul should NOT be disquieted. Why? Because the answer to all our questions and all our problems is God. The repeating verse tells us the answer twice! Hope in God.

I sometimes try to think about how I would summarize the message of the Bible in ten sentences. After praying with this Psalm for a week, I would put this sentence in the the ten: “Hope in God.”

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