Numbers 8-10 Psalm 42

The Psalm is heartrending. The psalmist is in despair, feeling completely alone, forgotten by God. But it’s also so very beautiful.

The Psalmist’s response to despair: turning to God. Remembering where hope is found, praising God anyway.

“My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you.”

That should always be our response. I’m not sure it always is.

“Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all you breakers and your waves have gone over me.”

I have read so many commentaries that say this means one trouble leads to another so quickly it’s as though they beckon more to follow, or something along those lines, but I don’t read it that way. The verse immediately before remembers God, and the verses immediately after are a statement of God’s love. It isn’t “your waves have gone over me BUT the Lord commands his steadfast love.” In the absence of a conjunction, it reads and.

The breakers and waves are God’s in a poem where God is accused of forgetting, not opposing. The depths of the soul call out to the depths of God, which are overwhelming in comparison.

At least, that’s how I read it. I’m more familiar with English poetry than ancient Hebrew, though. I could be wrong. But I like the imagery all the same. Deep calls to deep. My soul longs to be united with God. That is where I find my comfort, even in despair.

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