Have I already mentioned how much I like having songs pop to mind as I read the Psalms? Well, I’ll say it again!
How wonderful and beautiful a tool music can be to help us listen, process, remember, experience, reflect, share, understand… The list just goes on.
In Psalm 43, we sort of continue right along with Psalm 42. They work well as one larger piece, pretty much sharing the refrain, “Why are your cast down, O my soul/Hope in God.” I talk about Psalm 42 a bit in the service for this coming Sunday and share a song there, but I wanted to do the same here for Psalm 43.
There is pain and anguish in both, and the Psalmist takes that to God. Why is my enemy victorious? Why am I lost in mourning? Yet such lament is always directed to God, for the psalmist always sees that God is still his hope. These two Psalms are likely written with the context of a people who led the worship of God at the temple yearning to return there, to praise God again. Whatever the solution, God will be the one to bring them back, so the call goes out, “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me…”
It is a humble posture. To acknowledge the need to be led is to acknowledge we don’t always know the way. Even in the midst of pain and anger, anger even directed toward God, this psalmist can still humbly say, “God, you need to be the one who can deliver me.” God remains the source of hope and joy and salvation.
Give a listen to this song based on Psalm 43 by Sandra McCracken. Actually first read Psalm 43 and then you’ll really see how closely this beautiful captures the words.