“Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!” (v. 1)

Psalm 43 Saturday 2 November 2013


Some commentators believe that Psalm 43 is a continuation of Psalm42, and whilst it has similar themes, it can stand alone as a'Prayer to God in time of trouble'.

The psalmist uses legal terminology ("vindicate", "defend mycause") (v. 1) to underline reliance on God as an advocate againstthose who, share have neither Godly devotion nor holy values. It isGod in who the psalmist finds security, yet the threats of enemiesmakes any sense of the divine presence seem sorrowfully far away(verse 2).

The psalmist recognises that, in the midst of adversity, thereis no other way than to ask the covenant God to faithfully keeppromises. The psalmist asks God for "light", the experience of thefullness of redemption, and "truth", the expression of covenantalfidelity (v. 3). If only God would send these two expressions oflove to guide the psalmist back, then restoration will beexperienced.

One reason that commentators think that Psalm 43 and Psalm 42are of a piece is that Psalm 43:4 seems to be an answer to thequestion posed by the psalmist at the beginning of Psalm 42: "Whenshall I come and behold the face of God?" (Psalm 42:2), and echoesthe remembrance of the pilgrimage festivals in Psalm 42:4. Thepsalmist invokes the holy places of celebration not as nostalgiabut as a statement of the hope of restoration to a place, bothphysically and metaphorically, when God is once again the focus ofpraise.

Psalm 43 is both a powerful prayer and an insightful reflectionon the human condition, and in the final verse the psalmistreturnsto the conflict between faith and doubt, to the contrast betweenthe present and the future, and to the hope that 'I shall againpraise him' (v.5). Expectant confidence in God as a firm foundationis perfectly consistent with an honest expression of our deepestand rawest emotions in prayer.

To Ponder

  • When have you wanted to shout at God "why have you cast me off"(v. 2)? What happened next?
  • Are there emotions that you would be uneasy at expressing toGod in prayer? Why might this be?
Previous Page Friday