To rely on God to be your defender against a wicked world about you highlights Psalm 43. It also delves into the pain and loneliness one feels when it seems you are left all alone. The reality is that down deep we know that God is always there for us. Psalm 43 is a brief psalm but covers all of these topics and more.
1) Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
“Judge me” comes from the Hebrew word, “shaphat” meaning, “to act as law-giver or judge” (Strong’s). So what the Psalmist is asking is for God to be his governor, His defender over a sinful, ungodly people. He seeks help and protection from the wicked, treacherous and unjust by pleading to God.
“Popular opinion weighs with many, but divine opinion is far more weighty with the gracious few. One good word from God outweighs ten thousand railing speeches of men.” (Charles Spurgeon)
2) For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
The Psalmist has made a common mistake in assuming that since he feels the pressure of the wicked that therefore God has abandoned him. God will let us feel and experience the enemy. This must be for how else will we know the enemy or know the power and strength of God? To one degree or another we must be involved in the fight to appreciate the full glory of God and His salvation.
3) O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
4) Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
What better place to be, what better condition to be in than when out of harm’s way and in the presence of God in His house?
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” That’s the right question directed at the right source. When we are low and in a depressive condition we should never just ride out the storm. We should always inquire within as to what the problem may be. The root of emotion, intellect, passion and being is the soul. Our persona and psyche our represented self is all generated from the soul. When that gets out of whack, the whole world knows it.
But a soul problem isn’t a world problem. Unfortunately all too often we take inside matters to an outside world. Not only do we ask the world to determine our soul problem but ask it to fix our soul as well.
and why art thou disquieted in me? Why is my soul troubled? What has my soul so vexed? This can be a very dangerous condition. Sin propels us via a vexed soul and spirit. Fear, anger, anxiety, stress all cause us to move and do things that we would never otherwise do.
A disquieted soul can also motivate us in apparent positive directions as well. We try to quench the fire that burns within by achieving external success and happiness. But a soul on fire is never satisfied from without.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11
Anything repeated in the Bible is done so to stress the significance of that message. Here we see the plea three times (Psalm 42:5, Psalm 42:11 and Psalm 43:5). This is done not only to stress the importance of the Psalmist cry but it also shows that prayers and supplications are not always answered at first. The oft used word, “patience” in the New Testament is a call for time and constancy. Anything prayed to God must be stayed upon by us. Patience in our prayers demonstrates our degree of value in the problem prayed on and our faith in God to respond to it. A component of faith is time. An impatient person has no faith.
“for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Literally translated “for the help of his face”, more specifically the help of His presence. We first and foremost must understand and believe that God is present in every iota, in every moment of time and space of our lives. We then must have faith in God that he is a present help.
“for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” The British have a talent for the understatement. When the King James Version us the word “health” which comes from the Hebrew, “Yeshuwah” or salvation. What the Psalmist is saying here is that the very presence of God is his salvation. He is delivered from his vexed soul by the omnipresent and omnipotent God. And most important of all the Psalmist identifies God as “his” God. He makes it very personal as it should be with all of us. Each of us has a one on one relationship with our God. All matters of the soul are a God matter.
And finally, we shall praise Him. Night and day we should be praise our very present God.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18