Psalm 42:4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 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 help 6 and my God.
The psalmist is in distress. V.5 tells us that his soul is “cast down” and “disquieted”. In other words he’s anxious about his situation. We’re not told exactly what the problem is, but v.3 tells us there are some asking “Where is your God?”. To the outside eye it seems the psalmist is on his own. God has yet to appear, to provide relief.
So the psalmist starts to recall the nature of his covenant relationship with God. He has led “the throng” to the house of God for worship and so expects God will eventually provide protection and relief. That’s how the covenant works. The people worship God and follow his commandments while God provides protection and provision for Israel. There is solid logic here. Besides this is not the first time God will have come to the aid of Israel – far from it.
But there is an open conflict in the writer we are allowed to see in this psalm. Logic and reason understand that God will eventually come to his aid because that’s how things work with God. Yet his soul is still anxious, worried, fearful. The heart has yet to catch up to the mind in this situation. Truth is, facts are generally of little help when confronted with an emotional challenge. The mind wants the facts, but the heart wants to be comforted, reassured.
We’re in the midst of this coronavirus crisis and much is yet unknown. How long will this last? Will I get sick? What about my loved ones? Will I keep my job? The list goes on and on. It’s normal to be anxious when so much is at stake. So this morning I’m remembering the words of v.5 “Hope in God, for I shall again praise him…”
Lord let it be so. Amen.