A Reprise

It’s a sort of reprise, repeating the theme of the last song. You know that because it shares the same chorus.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 43:5 CSB)

(cp Psalm 42:5 and Psalm 42:11)

Last song was clearly credited to the sons of Korah. Psalm 43 is presented anonymously. I wonder if it’s because this is the song that inspired the first one. Lyrics written in the first person actually by the person who was so dejected of soul. I’m wondering if this isn’t David’s work. A piece written inspired by the time (recorded in 2Samuel 15) when he was driven from his throne by “an unfaithful nation” (v. 2).

So, he cries out to God to vindicate him, to champion his cause, to set all the wrongs right (v.1). For, at least in the moment of unjust exile, he feels as though God has rejected him, determining instead that he “go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression” (v.2).

But in the meantime, until justice reigns, what’s the dejected and rejected king gonna do? That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.

Send Your light and Your truth; let them lead me.
Let them bring me to Your holy mountain,
to Your dwelling place.
Then I will come to the altar of God,
to God, my greatest joy.
I will praise You with the lyre,
God, my God.

(Psalm 43:3-4 CSB)

David’s most ardent longing after being thrown out of Jerusalem wasn’t to get back to his throne. It wasn’t to know again his seat of power. It was to return to God’s holy mountain so that he could come again to God’s holy dwelling. To bring his sacrifices again to the altar. To play again songs of praise on his lyre. To proclaim again, with unfettered (and, per 2Samuel 6:14-15, perhaps even somewhat unrobed) abandon that God alone was his greatest joy. “Take the world but give me Jesus” might have been a favorite song of his had it been around then.

So where did David look to be led back to the holy hill? Where might we look?

Send Your light and Your truth; let them lead me.

While this may refer to the light and truth of God’s presence, I’m processing it as the light and truth of God’s word. As in, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Ps. 119:105). As in, “Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).

While absent physically from the house of God, while exiled emotionally by the people of God, yet able spiritually to draw near to the throne of God as he meditated, even in exile, on the word of God.

The light of God’s word making straight his paths amidst the confusion. The truth of God’s word recalibrating “true north” amidst the unexpected redirection. The leading of God’s word able to bring him, at least by faith, to the altar of God to offer, regardless of circumstance, the sacrifice of praise born of an abiding joy in God.

Hmm . . . pretty good reprise. Not a bad encore.

A reminder of God’s grace. More reason to give God the glory.

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
all its joys are but a name;
but His love abides forever,
through eternal years the same.

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
sweetest comfort of my soul;
with the Savior watching o’er me,
I can sing, though thunders roll.

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Let me view His constant smile;
Then throughout my pilgrim journey
Light will cheer me all the while.

Take the world, but give me Jesus;
in His cross my trust shall be
till with clearer, brighter vision
face to face my Lord I see.

Oh, the height and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption,
pledge of endless life above!

~ Fanny Crosby, 1879 ~

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1 Response to A Reprise

  1. Ron Sallee says:

    Thank you Pete.
    “When all around my soul gives way
    He then is all my hope and stay”

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