What does Psalms 43 mean?
Many Hebrew manuscripts join Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 as a single work. It's possible they were separated, at some point, for unknown reasons. The themes of Psalm 43 echo those of the prior song. Overall, the psalmist honestly expresses frustration with his suffering. Yet he makes a conscious effort to remember God's faithfulness and resolves to look to the future with hope.
The psalm opens with an appeal for justice. Because he is being oppressed and slandered, the writer asks why God has not yet come to the rescue. This is followed by a request echoing a prior desire to return to a place of worship (Psalm 42:4). The psalmist refers to God's truth, and His light, which are common themes in the Bible. The appeal ends on a hopeful note, with the assumption that the writer will be able to worship God in the temple once again (Psalm 43:1–4).
The final verse of this psalm is the exact phrase used twice in the prior song (Psalm 42:5, 11). This is a statement, poetically phrased as a question whose answer should be obvious. It's natural to be tempted towards despair and discouragement. Despite our feelings, we know God is faithful and that He will vindicate His people, eventually. For that reason, we can be encouraged to put all our trust in the Lord (Psalm 43:5).
Psalm 43:1–4 asks God to come to the psalmist's assistance and defend his cause against the wicked. He expresses faith in the Lord but struggles with the feeling that God has rejected him. He prays for guidance to bring him back to the temple, where he anticipates worshiping God joyfully.
Psalm 43:5 repeats a statement made twice in the prior psalm. This moves away from a dejected attitude which questions God and assumes abandonment. This turns the writer's focus from his enemy's oppression to hope and optimism in the Lord.
The psalmist prays to be delivered from ungodly people and injustice. He places trust in God, but grapples with feelings of abandonment during his hardships. He prays for God's light and truth to bring him back to Jerusalem, where he will gladly worship the Lord. The psalm concludes with a rhetorical question asked twice in the prior psalm (Psalm 42:5, 11).
Intricately connected in themes and phrases, Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 might have originally been a single song. Many Hebrew manuscripts render the two as one. In Psalm 43 the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him back to Jerusalem, where he could once again joyfully worship Him. This continues to express Psalm 42's concepts of discouragement overcome by purposeful faith in God.
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:00:47 PM
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