I don’t often talk to myself – out loud.
For me, the daily conversations I have with myself occur more often within my heart, soul and mind.
Am I crazy?
I don’t think so.
I need to work things out in my mind – especially before I act or I speak – whatever the circumstance.
Therefore, when I read Psalm 42 this morning, I realized that the Psalmist was doing something similar. He was having a talk with himself regarding his faith and his fears. The poor guy was in exile; banished far far far away from Jerusalem. He was hurting. Big time. His current reality did nothing to encourage him, but rather he felt lost, alone, and longed to return to the life he had once known and relished.
It wasn’t going to happen at this point.
So, what does he do?
He talks to himself.
And in his self-talking dialogue, this son of Korah does more than just describe his situation and reminisce of days long past, he asks himself a question.
He asks, “Why?”
Check Psalm 42:5 out:
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
New International Version, Psalm 42:5
I get it.
This son of Korah asks something we all do of ourselves at moments of crisis: Why?
Why am I so upset?
Why am I so discouraged?
Why am I so lonely?
Why am I so disheartened and depressed?
Why am I so disturbed within my heart and soul?
What is my problem?
The psalmist feels his pain down deep. In fact, he acknowledges that his soul is disturbed. Disturb comes from the Hebrew transliterated word hamah. Hamah means to growl, to roar, to cry aloud, to tremor, to rage, to be disquieted, and to experience trouble and turbulence.
This guy’s soul was experiencing tremors like an earthquake.
His soul was enduring the ravages of a sea storm.
The chambers of his soul echoed with the growls and roars of a disquieted, turbulent spirit.
What was going on here?
Why was this strong man of faith suffering such despair?
It is believed this son of Korah had been forced into exile during the rebellion of Absalom. Absalom was seeking the throne of his father David. Long before this political crisis, the three sons of Korah, Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph and their descendants had been tasked with preparing the music for the sanctuary of God. Consider them as a class of people whose lifelong work was to worship their God and to provide invitations of worship of God for others. This son of Korah had devoted his life to presiding over the music of the sanctuary and to arranging tunes for the music. He distributed the parts to the singers and he may have furnished compositions for these services as well. He lived for the worship of God. And now it was all gone. His life purpose was just a memory. His love of worship in the precious and holy sanctuary of God was no more. He didn’t know what to do with himself.
And what else was happening within this man’s soul?
In the deep recesses, a subtle but powerful force was attempting to stir up a crisis of faith. Satan was there. This dangerous enemy of faith was offering one grievous and troubling temptation after another to the son of Korah. His goal? To cast the son of Korah further down into the proverbial pit of despair – to destroy his hope and faith in his God.
This son of Korah was already down. He had already been knocked off his feet and made low.
It says in verse 5 that the son of Korah’s soul was downcast. Downcast comes from the Hebrew transliterated word shachach. Shachach means to be crouched down, made low, to be weak, humbled and despairing.
Yet, amazingly it is at this pivotal point, knocked to his knees, in a position of humility, that the son of Korah talks to himself and chooses to look up and not down!
His faith answers his fears.
Hope answers every dispirited cry of this man’s heart!
In acknowledgement of his sins, hope answers with the pardon of sin through Christ.
In reply to his feelings of dejection and despair, hope replies with the strength and resolve of God.
With admission of his physical and emotional weakness, hope counters with endurance.
In recognition of his turbulent, raging soul, hope secures him with a sure anchor of peace.
Understanding his vulnerabilities, hope fastens a helmet of protection over his mind.
Acknowledging his heart’s cry for worship and praise, hope affirms him.
Seeking the grace and favor of his God, hope rewards him with the Presence of God.
The son of Korah answers every despairing notion with the promise and assurance of Hope.
This kind of hope is a waiting hope. It means to wait, to expect, and to trust.
Nothing may have yet changed for the exiled son of Korah, but that did not mean that God was not there, that God was not working, and that God was not going to bring him out of his desert experience one day.
Just the opposite.
God was there.
God was working.
God was able.
And we can say the same thing to ourselves in our present circumstances.
We can talk to ourselves with words of hope!
God is here.
God is working.
God is able.
Our God inspires and uses our hope in Him to answer every heart’s cry!
Are you asking any kind of ‘why’ for where you are in life, today?
Do like the son of Korah…go ahead and ask!
Why? Why? Why?
Allow the Hope of God to answer!
I am praying that you will!