Going Deeper… (Psalms 42-43)

Here are some questions based on last Sunday’s sermon text (Psalms 42-43, taken together as one song), in case they’re helpful to you for personal growth or group discussion…

  • [42:1-2] Have you ever been really thirsty for water? Can you describe what that experience is like? Have you ever been in a comparable state of thirst for God? Why or why not? Can you imagine the thirst for God that Jesus had when he cried out “I thirst!” from the cross?
  • [42:3, 9-10; 43:2] Why is the Psalmist upset? Have you ever felt the same way for similar reasons? Do you imagine you might (again) someday?
  • [42:5, 11; 43:5] Technically, this refrain is not a “prayer,” but “self-talk” directed toward one’s own soul. Apparently God thinks it can be good for us to talk to ourselves, even out loud! Why should we talk to our own souls? What kinds of things should we be telling ourselves? Why does the Psalmist keep returning to this refrain? Do you sometimes pray to God or talk to your own soul with dogged repetition? What good is that, or why would that be necessary?
  • [42:4, 6, 8] When you are down, do you deliberately turn to “remember” who God is, what he has done for you, and the times you have been in his presence with his people in worship? Do you remember him in song, even when you might not feel like singing? Do you remember him in prayer, even when it seems he isn’t listening?
  • [43:3-4] Have you prayed for God to lead you to himself? How would he do that? Would you be receptive to that? Do you resonate with the Psalmist’s statement that God is “my exceeding joy”? If not, have you prayed that he would enable you to do so?
  • Meditate on these phrases from this song:
    • [42:2] “My soul thirsts… for the living God”
    • [42:8] “God of my life”
    • [42:9] “God, my rock”
    • [43:2] “The God in whom I take refuge”
    • [43:4] “God my exceeding joy”
    • [43:4] “O God, my God”
    • [43:5] “Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, the face of my salvation”