Summary: In my series where I am working through a rich experience of preaching the Psalms.
HOPE FOR THE DOWNCAST SOUL
TEXT: Psalm 42:1-11
Psalms 42:1-11 KJV To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.  Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE BLESSING OF THIS BOOK
-There is a great blessing in being able to hold and read the Book that you have in your hand. I realize that times have changed and that Bibles are now available on all sorts of electronic devices but there is nothing like holding a hardcopy of the Bible.
-This past week (2/18/13), I heard a preacher (Steven Lawson) say something that was very disturbing to me personally and yet after hearing him out, I believe what he had to say. He said that after almost 30 years of preaching, he had discovered that we only get to preach from passages in the Bible once.
-He meant that because of the time factor involved in preaching that most diligent preachers who want to preach their way through the entire Bible will only pass through a particular passage because of the shortness of this vapor of life. Therefore, he pointed out, that it was crucial that we do our dead-level best to preach every time with a pure heart, pure motive, and pure mind.
-I must confess that when I began to meditate on what he said, I again had to make the determination to treat every passage of this book with a sense of sacred honor.
-The blessing of the Book and of anointed preaching is that it helps us to move along the Christian walk for the Lord.
• It encourages us to move forward.
• It challenges us to prayer.
• It urges us to worship.
• It confronts our sin.
• It helps us to battle the whims of our flesh.
• It breathes hope into us when we are under attack.
• It opens our eyes to the greatness of God and the power of His salvation.
• It softens the blows of disappointment.
• It molds our minds into the greater plan of God.
-With this Psalm, it helps to breathe hope into a downcast soul.
II. PSALM 42
A. Five Books in the Psalms
-If you have one of the Search for Truth Bibles, you will notice something written above Psalm 42. You will note that it has the caption that gives BOOK II, Psalms 42-72. The Psalm we have just read comes at the very beginning of Book II of the Psalms. In fact there are five books of the psalms and the Jews commonly referred to them as the psalter. This was what they sang when they came to worship.
-The longer you live for the Lord, the more of these Psalms you will discover to be of great value to you. In fact, I believe that some of them you will come to treasure.
• Book I—1-41.
• Book II—42-72. Completed 300 years after the first book. Hezekiah comes along and is the force behind putting them together.
• Book III—73-89. You will note that they are not chronologically in order but rather by a theological theme.