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Book 2

The Exodus Psalms

Psalms of suffering and redemption

A Cry for Revival[a]

For the Pure and Shining One

A contemplative poem for instruction by the prophetic singers of Korah’s clan[b]

42 I long to drink of you, O God,
    to drink deeply from the streams of pleasure
    flowing from your presence.
    My longings overwhelm me for more of you![c]
My soul thirsts, pants, and longs for the living God.
    I want to come and see the face of God.
Day and night my tears keep falling
    and my heart keeps crying for your help,
    while my enemies mock me over and over, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours? Why doesn’t he help you?
So I speak over my heartbroken soul,
    “Take courage. Remember when you used to be
    right out front leading the procession of praise
    when the great crowd of worshipers
    gathered to go into the presence of the Lord?
    You shouted with joy as the sound of passionate celebration
    filled the air and the joyous multitude of lovers
    honored the feast of the Lord!”
So then, my soul, why would you be depressed?
    Why would you sink into despair?
    Just keep hoping and waiting on God, your Savior.
    For no matter what, I will still sing with praise,
    for you are my saving grace!
Here I am depressed and downcast.
    Yet I will still remember you as I ponder the place
    where your glory streams down from the mighty mountaintops, lofty and majestic—the mountains of your awesome presence.[d]
My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love.
    Your waterfall of weeping sent waves of sorrow
    over my soul, carrying me away,
    cascading over me like a thundering cataract.
All through the day Yahweh has commanded his endless love to pour over me.
    Through the night I sing his songs
    and my praises[e] to the living God.
I will say to God, “You are my mountain of strength;
    how could you forget me?
    Why must I suffer this vile oppression of my enemies—
    these heartless tormentors who are out to kill me?”
10 Their wounding words pierce my heart
    over and over while they say,
    “Where is this God of yours?”
11 So I say to my soul,
    “Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be disturbed.
    For I know my God will break through for me.”
    Then I’ll have plenty of reasons to praise him all over again.
    Yes, he is my saving grace!

Footnotes

  1. 42 Psalms 42 and 43 were originally composed as one psalm and later made into two.
  2. 42 Korah was the great-grandson of Levi. The sons of Korah (translated here as the “prophetic singers of Korah’s clan”) were Levitical singers. David chose them to preside over the music of the tabernacle-tent on Mount Zion.
  3. 42:1 The literal Hebrew is “as the deer pants for the riverbank [water’s edge].” This translation takes the metaphor of a hunted deer and puts it into terms that transfer the meaning into today’s context. David was describing the passion and longing he had that was yet unfulfilled.
  4. 42:6 The Hebrew text contains “Mount Hermon” and “Mount Mizar,” considered to be sacred mountains in the Hebrew culture. Hermon means “lofty and majestic.” Mizar means “littleness.”
  5. 42:8 Or “my prayer.”