Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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75. As thirsts the hart for water brooks (Psalm 42)

This morning I came across this video of a group of young people singing from the Christian Reformed Psalter Psalm 42. I found the singing nice, but then I have to ask myself are any of the men in this video experiencing in their day to day life what is described in Psalm 42. For example verse 3 "My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, "Where is your God?". I can't say this has been my experience spiritually. How about verse 10 of Psalm 42, "As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, Where is your God?". I have never had anyone come up to me and ask me "Where is your God?" I have never had enemies. How am I to relate to Psalm 42 as a Christian who has lived a comfortable white middle-class life? I have not been crying night and day because I have been attacked for my Christian faith.

How am I to relate to Psalm 42 verse 6, "O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar."? I have never been to the land of Jordan. My soul has never been cast down because of being in exile/being oppressed by enemies.

The point is that when I would sit in a church and sing the Psalms (as paraphrased in the Christian Reformed Psalter) I had to constantly spiritualize or think that my Christian spirituality was defected. Why was I not experiencing in my life/Holland MI what the Psalmist had experienced thousands of years ago in the land of Israel/described in Psalm 42?

Maybe in the Past some Christians have found comfort in reading and singing Psalm 42. I think I have a book by a 17th century English Puritan who wrote a treatise on Psalm 42 verse 11, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." I dug out the book which is titled, "A Lifting up for the Downcast" by William Bridge. I will close to look at this treatise by William Bridge. Carol is home from church and it is time to get supper together. Carol is telling me we have to go somewhere because it so pretty outside this afternoon.

William Bridge

1 As thirsts the hart for water brooks,
So thirsts my soul, O God for Thee;
It seeks for God, and ever looks
And longs the living God to see.

2 Far from the courts of God, my tears
Have been my food by night and day,
While constantly with bitter sneers,
Where is thy God, the scoffers say.

3 With grief I think of days gone by,
when oft I trod the hallowed way
To Zion, praising God on high
With throngs who kept the holy day.

4 O why art thou cast down, my soul,
And why so troubled shouldst thou be?
Hope thou in God, and Him extol,
Who gives His saving help to me.

5 Since, O my God, my soul is bowed,
In exile far, with bitter grief,
I turn my thoughts to Thy abode
For consolation and relief.

6 With mighty voice deep calls to deep,
While raging storms Thy judgments tell;
The angry billows o'er me leap,
The waves of sorrow near me swell.

7 Thought troubles surge, yet through the day
The Lord His gracious help will give,
And in the night my heart shall pray
And sing to Him in Whom I live.

8 To God my Rock I cry and say,
O why hast Thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning on my way,
Oppressed by foes that know not Thee?

9 With anguish as from piercing sword
Reproach of bitter foes I hear,
While day by day, with taunting word
Where is thy God, the scoffers sneer.

10 O why art thou cast down, my soul,
And why so troubled shouldst thou be?
Hope thou in God, and Him extol,
Who gives His saving help to me.

The Psalter: with responsive readings, 1912

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