Journey Through The Scriptures

Psalms of Comfort and Hope

Lesson 5: Light in the Darkness

(Scripture to Read: Psalm 42:143:5)

These two psalms are joined together as one in many Hebrew manuscripts, an evidence of their very close association. That they may have originally been one psalm is further indicated by the fact that Psalm 43 has no superscription or title. But of course, beyond these textual considerations is the three-fold repetition of the writer’s searching, rhetorical question: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”

This is heart-wrenching honesty. The psalmist’s face was bathed in tears over the agony his soul was experiencing.

But there was an answer to his anguish in the Person of the God of Israel! The writer was obviously a person of deep spirituality, for he longed for God as a thirsty deer panted for the water it needed to survive.

He also longed for God’s sanctuary on His “holy mountain” in Jerusalem (Psalm 43:3). This beautiful song reminds us again that when things are at their darkest, God’s light shines the brightest. This is true comfort for those difficult times we all face!


Study Questions

  1. What does it mean for a human soul to “pant” for God?
  2. One reason the psalmist was “downcast” was the taunting and oppression of his enemies. What are we learning in this study about God’s response to those who afflict His people?
  3. How could the psalmist be so distraught, even though he knew God was near?
  4. According to Psalms 42 and 43, what role does praise play in one’s life?

Something to Think About

This passage is a wonderful reminder that desiring God and depending on Him are not simply nice options for His followers, but part of our essential makeup! Even being surrounded by enemies or other distressing circumstances cannot permanently unsettle a person whose true hope and confidence are in God.