Ep.103: Psalm 43: Prayer to God my Lawyer.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

Instead of presenting Psalm 43 as a separate Psalm, many Hebrew Bibles position it as as the last stanza of Psalm 42. However,  since I use an English Bible, I use the English numbering so I don’t confuse myself. 

In this psalm, it looks like the poet is in exile. Enemies drove him from his Jerusalem home to the remote countryside. He opens with a request that God plead his case against his enemies. I like that picture of God–a personal injury lawyer suing my enemies for damages.

The poet goes on to describe his experience and ask God to help him. He says,
    You are God my stronghold,
        Why have you rejected me?
  Why must I go about in gloom,
        oppressed by my enemies?
  Send me your light and your truth,
  Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
      to the place where you dwell. 

God is supposed to be his stronghold, his protector, his light. But he complains that God has rejected him, consigning him to darkness and gloom, making him an easy target for his enemies. He asks God to send him light and truth so he can find his way to the temple where God dwells, and to the community of worshippers who gather there. Then he will worship God joyfully with music and song. 

He concludes by repeating his refrain from Psalm 42,
    Why are you downcast, my soul,
      Why so disturbed within me?
    Hope in God,
      For I will yet praise him,
      My Savior and my God. 

Let’s pray. 

God, with the poet, we want you to be our personal injury lawyer. Where we have been the unfair subject of legal battles—business lawsuits, divorce proceedings, custody battles, accident claims, and other unjust actions—we turn the file over to you. Drag our enemies into court, sue them for everything they have, save us from their unjust claims. Where we have been victims of personal relationship failures—where people have not respected our boundaries, where family have been angry without reason, where parents have failed us, where siblings distrusted us—we invite you to protect us, to come to our defense, to overthrow the false claims, to stop the manipulation and control, to expose the lies and deceit. 

God, we join the poet in asking you to be our light and our truth. We have walked long years in darkness, in valleys of sickness and poverty, doubting often that you care, and sometimes that you exist. We have tried to live by the power of positive thinking, or by the strength of despair, by the light of human wisdom, or by escape into fantasy. But all these have failed us, and we return empty handed to you. Send your light, send your truth. Let them lead us. Let them bring us to the pace where you dwell. 

    Why are you downcast, my soul,
      Why so disturbed within me?
    Hope in God,
      For I will yet praise him,
      My Savior and my God. 

What is hope but waiting patiently, expecting you to act?  Accept our patient waiting, God. We are the deer panting for your water. We are the swimmers, pummeled and washed in your waves. We are victims, harassed by our feelings of darkness, beaten by our enemies. But we wait for you and we hope in you. Rescue us, save us. Bring us soon to your house, where we will worship joyfully in your presence. 

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.

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