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  • Jeff Kent

Thirsting for God

Psalm 42

See the deer come bounding down the hillside in a fit of terror. Fear is in its eyes. It is trying to outrun the wolves who have spotted it and have given chase. Its flight has been for some time now, and drawing breath is becoming more difficult while its mouth is parched, dry from the run.

Two things are of immediate concern. To find a stream so it can slake its thirst, and to put enough distance between itself and its pursuers so as to get a short respite.

Down the embankment it comes, at times sliding on the soft forest floor, more concerned about creating distance than not making noise. The stream is over the next rise; one more hill to climb. The wolves maintain their deliberate pace.

One of the frequently recurring themes in the Psalms is the oppression of God’s people by their enemies, and their crying out to God for rescue. This should not surprise us since God’s children have been opposed and attacked by the world since the beginning, witness Cain and Abel. When Satan deceived Eve, this war between good and evil, truth and lies, righteousness and wickedness began. It has never stopped, nor will it, until Jesus returns.

This Psalm may well depict the writer in exile as he recalls going in procession to the “house of God,” and desires to “appear before God” again. He remembers God as he did “from the land of the Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.” He is desperate for God.

In our times of trouble, are we desperate for God? Do we thirst “for the living God”? Do we cry out to Him for rescue from our enemies? Do we remember His rich blessings of days gone by and anticipate that He will again bless when the current trouble is past? The words “pants,” “tears,” and “pour out my soul” challenge us.

Whether we get relief or not, it is God for whom we long. As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for You, O God.

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