Echoes From the Campfire

For the truth is always the truth, no matter how painful.”
              –J.V. James  (Frye)

    “Delayed hope makes the heart sick, but fulfilled desire is a tree of life.”
              –Proverbs 13:12(HCSB)
Just this past Saturday while I was out on the back deck doing my morning devotions a couple of deer came up from drinking at the stream and stood in the grassy lane that went by the house.  They stood, looking at me for several minutes, then went back down toward the stream.  An interesting note to go along with the first part of Psalm 42 is the fact that the thirsty deer was a symbol used by the early church, denoting a Christian’s passion for God.
    We are living in a time when we may be barred from ever worshiping in a church.  A time when we cannot go down to the altar to weep and seek the Lord.  Remember how it used to be?  Even though David did not write this Psalm it could be about him as he was forced to flee Jerusalem with the rebellion by Absalom.  He was barred from worshiping the Lord before the Ark.  We know that as David left he was weeping and the people taunted him.

    1 – As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.
    2 – I thirst for God, the living God.  When can I come and appear before God?
    3 – My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God?”
    4 – I remember this as I pour out my heart:  how I walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God,
with joyful and thankful shouts.
    5 – Why am I so depressed?  Why this turmoil within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God. (HCSB)

    The Book of Psalms is actually divided into five books, this begins Book II.  It is by the sons of Korah, a Levite family.  This is a song for when we don’t feel like singing.  In fact we see depression in the psalm.  The singer is thirsty for God and He cannot come to Him.  Depression comes when we have lost something dear to us, and may deepen when we feel God has gone away.
    The singer is panting for the fresh water, the life-giving stream.  Norman Snaith says, “The psalmist’s craving is directly associated to his worship of God his sanctuary.  Those people, then or now, who are lackadaisical about attendance at church have never known what it really means to worship God.”  Remember, the Levites were involved in leading the worship and now all he has are his memories and his hope.
    Look at verse 5, “Why am I so depressed?  Why this turmoil within me?”  The NLT puts the later half of this verse, “I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!”  Notice the exclamation.  Does gloom and despair seem to be your lot in life?  Time to get your hope back by praising the Lord.

              “Jesus, the very thought of thee
               With sweetness fills my breast;
               But sweeter far thy face to see,
               And in thy presence rest.”
                       –Bernard of Clairvaux