Psalm 43 - Why are you cast down, my soul?
This psalm is similar to Psalm 42
. I think the author of Psalm 42 was moved by the last verse of this psalm and wrote a psalm based his meditation on that verse.
I tried to use the same tune for both Psalms, but it didn't work. Psalm 42 is bitter and very sweet. This psalm is not so sweet, but melancholy. I made the meter for both psalms the same. You can try singing this psalm to the tune of Psalm 42 and see if it works. That tune is too sweet for this Psalm. I can sing Psalm 42 to this tune, but it loses a lot of the sweetness.
Music is at its best when it is pleasingly melancholic. - Charles Spurgeon
I am wondering why Psalm 42 was placed before Psalm 43. Many say that Psalm 42 has no conclusion and that Psalm 43 is the conclusion of it. I don't see a conclusion in either psalm, but Psalm 43 has requests in vv1,3, while Psalm 42 has speaking to God, but no request. That makes Psalm 43 go further than Psalm 42. Often psalms end with concluding requests (Ps 139:23-24
I tried singing Psalm 42 followed by Psalm 43, and then in reverse order. I feel the order of Psalm 42 followed by Psalm 43, as it is, is better. I wouldn't appreciate Psalm 43 much, were it not preceded by Psalm 42.
I think David wrote this psalm while he was a fugitive from King Saul in the land of the Philistines (1Sam 27:1, 7
Or, David could have wrote this for Saul, for when Saul was oppressed by an evil spirit from God (1Sam 16:23
), but I don't think v1 could apply to Saul's suffering.
- "a psalm through David" comes from LXX
MT has no heading. I think the LXX is more accurate for Psalm headings because the New Testament agrees with LXX that Ps 95 is through David. MT has lost the Psalm heading for Psalm 95
, and I think for this psalm also.
The phrase "not godly" does not mean "ungodly", which is a different Hebrew word. The phrase here is only used in this verse. I think it means that David was disappointed in the nation of Israel for delivering him up to Saul after he rescued them (1Sam 23
), and for reporting to Saul where David was (1Sam 23:19; 26:1
One such advocate as the Lord will more than suffice to answer a nation of brawling accusers. ... One good word from God outweighs ten thousand railing speeches of men. ... The only way of dealing with them is to refer the matter to the righteous Judge of all; if we try to fight them with their own weapons, we shall suffer more serious injury from ourselves than from them. O child of God, leave these thine enemies in better hands, remembering that vengeance belongeth not to thee, but to thy Lord. Turn to him in prayer, crying, "O deliver me, "and ere long you shall publish abroad the remembrance of his salvation. - C. H. Spurgeon
This verse is very similar to Ps 42:9
. The first halves are very similar. The 2nd halves are nearly identical, the only difference is that this psalm says literally, "I go about" and Ps 42 says "I go".
I think David says God has cast him off because he is exiled outside of Israel, and I think also because David is not receiving God's speaking at this time.
"For" - Here is argument, which is the very sinew of prayer. If we reasoned more with the Lord we should have more victories in supplication. - Spurgeon
Here again is a useful question, addressed to the right quarter. The answer will often be because we are saints, and must be made like our Head, and because such sorrow is chastening to the spirit, and yieldeth comfortable fruit. We are not to cross question the Lord in peevishness, but we may ask of him in humility; God help us to observe the distinction so as not to sin through stress of sorrow. - Spurgeon
- "dwellings" plural should be God's people in whom He would dwell.
Let Your light and truth bring me back to Israel, to Your holy hill and to the dwellings of Your people.
"Let them bring me unto Thy holy hill and to Thy tabernacles, the local churches." - Witness Lee
Reveal my true character by thy light, and reward me according to thy truthful promise. ... We seek not light to sin by, nor truth to be exalted by it, but that they may become our practical guides to the nearest communion with God: only such light and truth as are sent us from God will do this, common light is not strong enough to show the road to heaven, nor will mere moral or physical truths assist to the holy hill; but the light of the Holy Spirit, and the truth as it is in Jesus, these are elevating, sanctifying, perfecting; and hence their virtue in leading us to the glorious presence of God. It is beautiful to observe how David's longing to be away from the oppression of man always leads him to sigh more intensely for communion with God. - Spurgeon
- The reality of my joyful song is God.
If David might but be favoured with such a deliverance as would permit his return, it would not be his own house or heritage which would be his first resort, but to the altar of God his willing feet should conduct him. His whole heart would go as sacrifice to the altar, he himself counting it his greatest happiness to be permitted to lie as a burnt offering wholly dedicated to the Lord. - Spurgeon
- This verse is identical to the last verse of the preceding psalm, Psalm 42:11
I think v5 is the song upon the harp that in v4 David says he will sing to God, his God at the altar. God is truly the joy of this song. He does not try to force his soul to rejoice, but brings his soul to God just as it is.
The Psalm has a blessed ending, such as we would fain imitate when death puts an end to our mortal existence. - Spurgeon
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Psalm 43 a psalm through David
Judge me, God, my case plead.
From nation not godly,
from the deceitful and unjust
do Thou deliver me
for You're my refuge, God.
Why You cast off me now?
Why from the foe's oppression I
in darkness walk about?
Send forth Thy light and truth.
They'll lead me and bring me
to the hill of Thy holiness
and where Thy dwellings be.
I'll go to God's altar,
to God, joy of my song,
and I will praise You on the harp,
God, my God, my first song.
Why are you down, my soul?
And why, with doubt oppressed,
are you disquieted o'er me?
In God still hope and rest.
6 For yet I shall Him praise,
Who presently to me,
the health is of my countenance,
and my near God is He.
'Why You forget me so?
Why, from my foes' oppression, thus
in darkness do I go?
my heart. Prove me.
And know my worries,
if there be any way
painful in me.
And lead me in the way
1 Samuel 27:1
And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me to seek me any more within all the limits of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.
7 And the time that David abode in the country of the Philistines was 2 days and four months.
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand; and Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
again he determines a certain day, saying, in David
, 'To-day,' after so long a time; (according as it has been said before), To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
LXE Psalm 95:1 <The praise of a Song by David.> Come, let us exult in the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to God our Saviour.
7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. To-day if ye hear his voice,
8 Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah, in the wilderness; (Psa 95:7-8 DBY)
1 Samuel 23:1
Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.
2 Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
3 And David's men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?
4 Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
5 So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.
7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.
8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
9 And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.
10 Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down.
12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.
13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.
19 And the Ziphites came up to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself with us in strongholds in the wood, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of the waste?
20 And now, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and it will be for us to deliver him up into the king's hand.
21 And Saul said, Blessed be ye of Jehovah; for ye have compassion upon me.
22 Go, I pray you, make yet more sure, and know and see his place where his track is, who has seen him there; for it is told me that he deals very subtilly.
23 And see, and ascertain all the lurking-places where he hides himself, and come ye again to me with sure information, that I may go with you; and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout the thousands of Judah.
26:1And the Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, facing the waste?
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