The 42nd psalm is a psalm of prayer in which the psalmist laments over his sorrow that God was angry with him and had afflicted him. Because of these he is mocked by the godless who taunt, “Where is your God now?” For the godless cannot restrain themselves; when they see that things go ill with the godly, they whistle, laugh, and wink: “Ah, how rightly this comes to pas!” So they say, “This is what happens to the heretics.” When someone else is troubled, they know nothing else than that it is a sure sign of God’s anger. But when they are troubled, then it can have no other meaning than that they are suffering in God’s sake and they must be God’s holy martyrs. These wrongheaded, blind, and poisonous guides for the blind will not understand that God flogs His own people, yet comforts them again and does not desert them. The psalmist on the other hand desires to come to God’s house and be comforted by the face of God. That is, he wants to truly hear God’s Word, which comforts him. For God’s house is that place where God’s Word is, and God’s face is His presence through which He makes Himself known and, by means of His Word, reveals His grace.
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 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 6 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. 7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 11 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.