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“My Soul Thirsts for You, O God!”

Readings: Psalms 42-43 (text); John 4:13-14

August 16, 2015 * Download this sermon (PDF)

"Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen" by Vincent van Gogh, 1884 (click image to enlarge)

“Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” by Vincent van Gogh, 1884 (click image to enlarge)

Dear Congregation of Christ: Today, Christians are bombarded on television, books, seminars with promises of a life of prosperity – of health, wealth and happiness. That Christian life is a life without sadness, grief, loneliness, struggles, or even death.

But what our Lord Jesus Christ promises his people is a life of struggles, pain, persecution, and even martyrdom at the hands of God’s enemies. We have already studied several of the Psalms, and what have we found? Many of the Psalms are psalms of lament and sorrow. Even those Psalms that praise God and thank him for all that he has done for the psalmists almost always have a portion of lament over his sufferings in this life.

Psalms 42 and 43 are two of these psalms of lament. Although these are two separate songs, they can be treated as one. Just like many of our hymns today, they share a refrain, which begins with, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” (verses 5, 11 and 43:5) While 42:9 says, “I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?” 43:2 says, “For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me?” Also, most psalms have titles, but Psalm 43 doesn’t, which can mean that it a was part of Psalm 42. And both psalms express sorrow over the persecution and ridicule by God’s enemies. Another lament is that the psalmist is not able to go to the temple to worship God. Therefore, he thirsts and longs to see God and be with God’s people. Even the praise song we sung says, “You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship you.”

So our theme today, then, is “My Soul Thirsts for You, O God” in three headings: first, Because Enemies Ridicule and Oppress;second, Because “God Has Forsaken Me”; and third, True Worship Satisfies This Thirst.

To read the rest of the sermon, click here.

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