Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Have you ever been there? More important, are you there right now? The writer of this psalm is in a dark place. Many of us know what that is like.


Where do I go when I hurt?

Psalm 42

A young boy had misbehaved and was sent to bed by his mother. Just 5 minutes later he cried out Mom, I’m thirsty, can you bring me a drink of water? No, go to sleep. Five minutes later. Mom? What? Can I have a drink of water? She says I told you no and if you ask again I’m going to have to spank you. Five minutes later Mom? What??? When you come in to spank me, would you bring me a drink of water?

Have you ever been thirsty? I mean really thirsty. Your lips become dry. Your mouth is parched. Maybe your lips are even cracked from the dryness. But this is no water available. I have only been really thirsty like that one time. The short story is that I was admitted to the hospital with double pneumonia and was placed in ICU. They were giving me a drug that would drain the water out of my body and I was really thirsty. So I asked for water and the nurse brought it to me. One of those Styrofoam pitchers they use. I drank every ounce of it in a few minutes. Best water I had ever tasted. She was back in my room just a few minutes later and I said that was really good, Can I have some more? She gave me this puzzled look and said just a moment, I’ll be right back. He then came back and said, Sir you can’t have any water until you get better.

My wife came in to see me. I said honey, I’m very thirsty, would you get me some water? She smiled and said, nope. The nurse already told me you would probably ask and you can’t have it. I thought how did that nurse know I would ask her? A bit later my daughter came in to see me. I said Allison would you get Daddy some water? I’m completely out of water and I’m really thirsty. She smiled and said nope. Mama already told me not to. I thought how did she know I would ask her? So I got no water that day or the next. Until they could get all of the fluid out of my lungs. During that 48 hour period I only had one thing on my mind. Water. I wanted water more than anything else in the world.

Psalm 42 is referred to as a Maskil. A Maskil is a teaching Psalm. While many of the psalms are written by David, I believe this one is written by a different; while man of the Psalms are written as praises to lift up to the Lord this one is written to teach God’s people some specific truths that we need to understand. We need them

• When we are going through a time of discouragement

• When our walk with the Lord has become dry and plain

• When we are experiencing a time of depression

• When we are simply going through the motions and life has lost its meaning

Have you ever been there? More important, are you there right now?

The writer of this psalm is in a dark place. Many of us know what that is like. Because we have had a loved one who has gone through a very dark time—or on an even more personal level---we have been through this kind of darkness. I read several facts about depression this week. Let me share a few.

• Depression affects approximately 19 million Americans annually. About 10 percent of the population. By the way, these are only the ones who seek treatment.

• Nearly twice as many women are affected as men.

• The fastest growing group using antidepressants today are children—under the age of 5.

The Psalmist gives us 3 questions here for us to consider. Let’s look.

1. Where can we go when we need to meet with God? When we need to hear from God? V. 2b. The writer here is in great need/pain. He is at a time in his life when his spiritual life had apparently dried up. He is thirsty. He says, my soul pants for you O Lord just as a deer pants for water. This week a young man, Brock Douglas who plays music with our son, Brian. Brock’s mother died very suddenly, about 50 years old. When I learned of her death I called Brock to talk with him. He was panting. He was so out of breath he could hardly speak. He sounded like he had just come in from a 5 mile run. He was so emotional that he was completely out of breath. He could hardly talk. So I prayed with him. The word pant means to breathe quickly in a labored manner.

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