Psalm 42:5-6 ESV – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Psalm 43 ESV – Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
These two Psalms have the same sense – that when we are completely “cast down” we need to hope in God. What’s interesting in these two Psalms is that the author commands himself to have hope. It’s like he’s saying to himself, “Buck up! God’s coming. Hope in Him!”
The Psalmist here contrasts his earthly situation with what he knows to be true in the spiritual realm. His soul is cast down and he feels like the entire world is against him. He feels alone, forgotten, and rejected. Then he remembers that God is The God Who Is There. He will come and rescue. The Psalmist pleads with the Lord not to tarry. He reminds himself that God is his salvation – the only salvation for any of us.
How often do we deal with this? It’s so easy for this world to encroach on our spiritual eyes. The Bible says we’re to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7), but that seems so difficult. This idea of hope has to do with Ultimate Reality. When we understand that God is the Ultimate Reality and that we can know what He is like through His word, we have hope.
Even when it seems like we’re alone.
Even when it seems like we’re forgotton.
Even when it seems like we’re rejected.
Hope in God – He is our salvation!
Hope is reality.