Monday, August 29, 2016
As the Deer Strains to Get One Last Drop of Water Before it Dies
I used Psalm 42:1-2 as a call to worship yesterday, but as I said then, it wasn't the whole story. The first 2 verses might seem like a nice scripture to put on a pillow, or a painting with a deer in a forest, to simply indicate we love being with God.
But if you read the rest of Psalm 42, this is written by a guy who has felt abandoned by God and longs desperately to be in His presence.
Better than picturing a deer, peacefully roaming the forest, we might rather picture a critically wounded person reaching out for one last grasp towards life.
He recalls a time when he was happy, singing praises to God. He was with all of his people, singing, dancing and generally having a great time. Now, in verse 5, he asks his soul 'why are you so downcast?' One can almost hear the painful mock, as he knows why he is disturbed.
Unlike many who abandon any hope to be found in God, this guy reminds himself that hope is eternally to be placed in God. Though the times are tough, and God is seemingly silent, he recalls the moment when the real God felt as much, and he refuses any other solution to his problems.
I'm not accusing anyone of taking Psalm 42:1-2 out of context here. But the picture of a deer drinking at a stream does not match the tone of this song writer. An emaciated deer straining to get even a drop of water to bring some small relief to his parched mouth and throat would not look all that great hanging up in our living rooms and church lobbies. Then again, neither would accurate portrayals of the Genesis account of the flood.
Truth is begging to be told. The truth is there is no hope outside of God and we should all be desperate to meet with God every single chance we get.
'When can I go and meet with God?' If only that were a question more people were asking and eagerly seeking an answer to.