Monday, July 19, 2010


Continuing in our look at Psalm 42

Psalm 42:5

Psa 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Q. What is it to be cast down? How sad, how low, how despairing are you my soul and why are you thus?

Q. What is it to be disquieted? The soul is not quiet, it cries, it weeps and complains, there is an uproar within, a clamour of despair and noisy tumult of soul-upsettedness. Your whole body sometimes feels the pain of it. The bones hurt, the stomach hurts, the soul cries and the body aches.

Why Soul are you cast down - why are you in such a loud tumult?


A. He is talking to his own soul, talking to HIMSELF. D.M. Lloyd Jones' book, Spiritual Depression, is to my hearing becoming more and more well known for his great exposition of this psalm. I hear Lloyd-Jones here saying: "Preach the gospel to yourself every day." Before Jerry Bridges helped us with this concept, Lloyd-Jones did and before that THE WORD OF GOD has taught us this wisdom.

David is talking to himself. As Lloyd-Jones wrote, the problem is we are always listening to ourselves. Stop listening to yourself and take yourself in hand and counsel your own soul, "Hope thou in GOD. " Preach the gospel to yourself - quiet your soul with such words - not listening to the clamorous, depressed, downcast soul, but speaking to it the GOSPEL. HOPE THOU SOUL IN GOD.

God's countenance is a HELP TO US. His near presence is a HELP to US. HIS sending his son FOR US is a HELP to us. His smile of electing Love is our HELP. WE believe in Christ he has smiled upon us and Christ is for us. Who can be against us? God who spared not his own son but delivered him up for us -- how shall he not with HIM freely give us all things. He has already given the greatest in CHRIST HIS ONLY-BEGOTTEN, all else is less, and all else is ours in CHRIST. His countenance is our help.

Spurgeon writes on this:
Salvations come from the propitious face of God, and he will yet lift up his countenance upon us. Note well that the main hope and chief desire of David rest in the smile of God. His face is what he seeks and hopes to see, and this will recover his low spirits, this will put to scorn his laughing enemies, this will restore to him all the joys of those holy and happy days around which memory lingers. This is grand cheer. This verse, like the singing of Paul and Silas, looses chains and shakes prison walls. He who can use such heroic language in his gloomy hours will surely conquer. In the garden of hope grow the laurels for future victories, the roses of coming joy, the lilies of approaching peace.

Albert Barnes in his Notes points out that the word "Help" as
found in the original Hebrew is in the plural and wonderfully explains as follows:

"For the help of his countenance - literally, “the salvations of his face,” or his presence. The original word rendered help is in the plural number, meaning salvations; and the idea in the use of the plural is, that his deliverance would be completed or entire - as if double or manifold. The meaning of the phrase “help of his countenance” or “face,” is that God would look favorably or benignly upon him. Favor is expressed in the Scriptures by lifting up the light of the countenance on one. See the notes at Psa 4:6; compare Psa 11:7; Psa 21:6; Psa 44:3; Psa 89:15. This closes the first part of the psalm, expressing the confident belief of the psalmist that God would yet interpose, and that his troubles would have an end; reposing entire confidence in God as the only ground of hope; and expressing the feeling that when that confidence exists the soul should not be dejected or cast down."

No comments: