Psalm 42 - Nostalgia for God and Proximity to the Divine

[New International Version] Psalm 42 belongs to Book II of the Book of Psalms. This prayer serves as a reflection on the meaning of the temple of God and prayer. Proximity to the divine lives on the faith and worship of the individual and the whole community.

The PS 42 belong to Book II of the book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book II encompasses Psalms 42-72 . The PS 42 is divided into 12 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like the mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 42 - Nostalgia for God

1  To the director. Poem of the children of Korah .

2  As the deer longs for the springs of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.

3  My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I go in to see the face of God?

4  My tears have served me as bread,
both day and night,
as they repeat to me all day long:
“Where is your God?”

5  I remember all this, and my soul trembles,
as I followed in procession to the house of God,
amid the shouts of joy and praise
of the great crowd in celebration.

6  Why are you prostrate, O my soul,
and are you troubled within me?
Wait on God, I’ll still praise him.
He makes me look up in triumph; is my God.

7  My soul is prostrate;
so I remember you
from the lands of Jordan and Hermon
and the mountain of Miçar.

8  From one abyss resounds to another abyss
the noise of your waterfalls;
all your waves and torrents
have passed over me.

9  By day the Lord will send his mercy,
and by night his song will be with me
in prayer to the God of my life.

10  I want to exclaim, “O God, my rock!
Why have you forgotten me?
Why should I walk down
under the oppression of the enemy?”

11  When my bones are broken,
adversaries insult me
and repeat to me all day long:
“Where is your God?”

12  Why are you prostrate, O my soul,
and why do you trouble me?
Wait on God, I’ll still praise him.
He makes me look up in triumph; is my God.

Meaning and interpretation

The Psalm 42 is a single prayer of supplication. He presents as a reason not a situation of illness, but rather the state of anxiety and sadness that the longing for temple celebrations provokes in him; and he remembers how enthusiastically he lived these parties.

The concern with threats from enemies is mentioned in this Psalm, as in other texts. This prayer has a sapiential and didactic character . It serves as a reflection not only for the Psalmist but for the entire community.

Being close to God, seeing the face of God , is the highest purpose of those who follow the faith. In the temple, in prayer, this closeness to the divine reaches its peak. God’s protection descends on Men who believe and follow his laws. God is present in everything.

The Wisdom Psalms analyze human behavior , ethical choices and their consequences . At the same time, they are a meditation on what is involved in the religious orientations of life and thought.

These themes appear in Psalm 1; 14; 34; 36; 37; 39; 49; 53; 73; 74. Psalm 119 could be considered a wisdom treatise, in the mold of a long meditation on the law of God.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy .