Psalm 42

This is a special song for the music leader. The sons of Korah wrote it.

A prayer when you are away from home

42:1We think that Psalms 42 and 43 were once one psalm.

1 God, I need you so much!

I look for you,

as a thirsty deer looks for streams of water.

2 Deep down inside me,

I am very thirsty!

You are the God who lives,

and I need life from you!

When will I be able to come near to you

and see you face to face?

42:2The writer is thirsty like a thirsty deer in the wilderness, but he is not thirsty for water. He is thirsty for God. He wants to come near to God again, as he remembers in the past time.

3 All day and all night I weep.

My tears are my only food!

My enemies say to me all the time,

‘Where is your God?’

4 When I remember how my life was before,

I am very upset and I weep.

Once I walked with a big crowd of people

to worship God in his temple.

I led the people there as we sang happy songs,

and we praised God with loud voices.

42:4The writer remembers how he worshipped God in the temple. There were crowds of people there. They were very happy as they all worshipped God. It was like a great party or festival. But now he is far away from God's temple in Jerusalem. So he is very sad.

5 Now I ask myself,

‘Why am I so sad and upset?’

I must wait patiently for God to help me.

Then I will praise my God once again,

because he is the one who saves me.

42:5The writer says that, although he is sad and upset he will still trust God to help him.

6 Deep inside me I am very sad.

So I will turn to you my God from where I am,

from Hermon mountain

where the Jordan river begins,

and from Mizar mountain.

7 I hear your waterfalls make a noise like thunder.

It seems like all that water is pouring over me

and it knocks me down to the ground.

42:7The River Jordan started at the Hermon mountain. When it rained a lot the river ran over the rocks and made waterfalls and deep water. That made the writer think about his troubles that seemed too powerful for him.

8 Each day, the Lord shows me that he loves me

with his special love.

Each night he gives me a song to sing,

as I pray to the God who gives life to me.

42:8Now the writer realized that God was with him, even when he was far away from Jerusalem. God did not only live in Jerusalem. God was everywhere! But the rest of the psalm shows us that he still felt far away from God.

9 I say to God, who is my high rock,

‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I be so sad?

How much longer must I continue to weep,

because my enemies do cruel things to me?’

10 My enemies laugh at me all the time.

It is like they are breaking all my bones.

They are always saying,

‘Where is your God?’

11 I ask myself again,

‘Why am I so sad and upset?’

I must wait patiently for God to help me.

Then I will praise my God once again,

because he is the one who saves me.