Week 2, Day 2

Day 2: Psalm 43:3-6

Send your light and your truth; let them lead me.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.
Then I will come to the altar of God,
to God, my greatest joy.
I will praise you with the lyre,
God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,
my Savior and my God.

1. This Psalmist is in distress. The preceding verses are a cry for God to vindicate me against my enemies (43:1). What will that vindication look like? Invitation onto your Holy Mountain, to your dwelling place. The vindication the psalmist seeks is not something against an enemy, or something for himself, but an invitation into God’s presence. In the closing verses he turns his attention to his own soul, asking Why are you so dejected? He then encourages himself: Put your hope in God. In five short verses the Psalmist has gone from a cry to God, to a plea for God’s presence, to turning his soul to hope in his Savior.
2. This has two aspects. On the one hand, Jesus is the Savior and God that the psalmist hopes for. On the other, this could be spoken by Jesus himself- in the garden of Gethsemane these words are extraordinary appropriate. I believe we are meant to see both ourselves and Jesus in these words. He is the light and truth that will lead us, but also he was lead by the light and true of the Spirit and Scripture throughout his life. In both cases, the center of our purpose and the way forward in light and truth is to praise at the dwelling place of our God.
3. In our distress we are to seek the dwelling place of God, to praise him, and to follow the light and truth that he was revealed to us. In ancient Israel, that place was the Holy Mountain, the Temple, and the Altar. Today our Holy Mountain is Christ himself- the stone not cut out by human hands whose Kingdom will fill the whole earth. We look to the continuation of the Incarnation: the church. Our community of faith is our Temple, embodied in ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are our refuge in times of trouble and crisis, granted by God to carry us when we cannot carry ourselves. When we can no longer turn to our own souls for encouragement, our family in the Kingdom speaks these words to our souls: Put your hope in God! Praise him… your savior and God.
4. The church is only a temporary continuation of Christ’s presence as the Holy Mountain, Temple, and Altar of our God. He will come to the mountain again, having completed the work of the sacrifice. He will take up his throne on the mountain and vindicate us, his people. We put our hope in God because his promises are sure and his vindication is certain. The days of speaking encouragement to our own downcast souls are limited. On the day our faith is sight, there will be no more downcast souls, only the greatest joy ever known.