Psalm 43 New International Version (NIV)
1 Vindicate me, my God,
and plead my cause
against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
deceitful and wicked.
2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
3 Send me your light and your truth,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
This Psalm without a title was likely originally written as one with Psalm 42. It is chosen for today in the 3rd week of Advent because of the use of the symbol of light leading us out of personal or seasonal darkness. The author felt downcast and disturbed 43:5, felt oppressed by enemies 43:2, asking why he should go about mourning 43:2 and even why God had rejected him 43:2. But he also knew the answer to his searching questions: he asked for your light and your truth 43:3. That light would lead him out of darkness. The truth would confirm the truth of God’s unfailing, unending love for his people. Then he would go to the place where God dwells 43:3 and praise him 43:4. The author is then able to end this Psalm with an encouragement to his own soul and ours to put your hope in God, our Saviour and our God 43:5. In the days before Christmas, in seasonal or personal darkness, the light of the son of God to come into our personal world is near and is here. Put your hope in Him.
When we feel low or experience darkness inside, we too can ask for light and for truth. Will you give me light to guide my path? Will you bring me truth for my searching soul? Then I may sense hope that even out of darkness you will bring me into your light. And never let me go. Amen.
Hymn Singing the Faith 635 v1 with refrain
1 My troubled soul, why so weighed down?
You were not made to bear this heavy load.
Cast all your burdens upon the Lord;
Jesus cares, he cares for you.
I will praise the mighty name of Jesus,
praise the Lord, the lifter of my head.
Praise the Rock of my salvation,
all my days are in his faithful hands.
Robert Critchley (b.1959)