By Erik Retallick
1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
A short while ago I wrote an article about Psalm 42 and mentioned that Psalm 43 follows on very closely with its thoughts and tone.
However, on taking a closer look, I think you will see a much brighter spirit emerging from the gloomy preoccupations of Psalm 42 with its small glimmers of hope here and there.
Those who have suffered depression or mental health disorders which have become so prevalent in our modern world know that it can sometimes seem like a long tunnel they are going through, and at first there appears to be no light at the other end.
After a few bends in the road and maybe some lighter moments, it is glorious to emerge once again into broad daylight, to feel God’s love, peace and joy returning as a reality in our daily experience.
God has been there all the time of course, but we’ve been looking in the wrong direction or become too preoccupied in a cycle of gloom and negativity.
The first thing the Psalmist asks for in this Psalm is vindication and defence, emanating from God. He knows that he has to constantly deal and cope with ungodly people, just as we have to in our contemporary world.
He requests deliverance from the unjust and ungodly man, something which many of us long for when dealing with the current ways of carrying out business.
Some would say it has ever been thus, but I have noticed a definite slippery slope as money becomes scarcer and business becomes harder to maintain. Honesty and integrity, certainly in the UK, seem to be very much lacking in so many areas of business, but especially in the worlds of finance and politics.
Isn’t it a comfort to know that we have a God in whom we can take refuge (verse 2), yet despite this it is still possible to feel that God has abandoned or rejected us.
When the Psalmist asks the question, “Why do I go about mourning because of of the oppression of the enemy?” I believe it is because He feels something of the way God must feel when people abandon His commandments and decide to do things their own way.
It makes us feel oppressed and as though we are swimming against the tide when we try to follow and keep to God’s laws in a society where they have been abandoned.
Verse 3 is a prayer which all those who know and love Jesus, desiring to follow Him, must want to echo. “Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling!
The nearer we draw to God, the nearer He will draw near to us (James 4:8). We will then reflect His light towards others and they will see that we have been with Jesus and the radical difference it makes to us as His chosen people.
The Psalmist is then led to go to the altar of God, the place where sacrifices are made and where thanksgiving and praises are said and sung.
Do you enjoy praising and thanking God, for who He is and what He has done by saving us from the world, the Devil, flesh and the last enemy, death itself
In Psalm 122, David begins this Psalm of ascent by saying “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” You’ve probably heard the story about the husband who wakes up on a Sunday morning and says to his wife “Oh no, it’s Sunday again, I really don’t want to go to church,” to which his wife replies, “but you’ll have to go, my dear, because you’re the pastor and you’re taking the service!”
I don’t know whether it’s because of the (polite British) persecution we are experiencing here now, or people’s apathy to anything that is spiritual, but I always go to worship God together with His people with a sense of excitement and anticipation, because I know He is going to meet with us, to love and enjoy our praises and hearts being led out to Him in praise and worship.
We can bring the needs of our world, friends and brothers and sisters to Him and hear and put into practice what He has to say to us! To me it is party celebration time, and the way things are going, we don’t know for how much longer we will be free to have this privilege, which is a foretaste of Heaven, where we shall be able to praise and serve Him for ever!
Although Psalm 43 ends with the sad “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” refrain which we see several times in Psalm 42, we see an amazing positive outcome.” The Psalmist ends by saying that if he hopes in God, He will praise Him again and know His salvation.
Salvation, wholeness and healing are still available to all who put their faith and trust in Jesus, seek His forgiveness through confessing their sins (1 John 1:9) and choose to follow Him as their Saviour and Lord.
You can know God’s salvation today, maybe by inviting Him into your heart and life for the first time. In John 1:12 it says “To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
” My prayer for you is that you may know with certainty today that you are a blood-bought child of God through knowing that Jesus died to save you from sin and have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
If you already know Him my prayer is that you will walk ever closer with Him and draw others to Him. As St. Augustine said, “preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.”
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