1 Establish justice for me, God!
Argue my case against ungodly people!
Rescue me from the dishonest and unjust!
2 Because you are my God, my protective fortress!
Why have you rejected me?
Why do I have to walk around,
sad, oppressed by enemies?
3 Send your light and truth—those will guide me!
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.
4 Let me come to God’s altar—
let me come to God, my joy, my delight—
then I will give you thanks with the lyre,
God, my God!
5 Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed?
Why are you so upset inside?
Hope in God!
Because I will again give him thanks,
my saving presence and my God.
Through Psalm 43, I am reminded of all the times that we plead for God’s intervention. We long for God to save us, even if it’s only from ourselves. How often do we beg for salvation when life is unjust? How often do we cry out asking, “Why?” or “Where shall I go?” The psalmist longs for God’s relief: “Rescue me… protect my fortress…(and) send your light and truth.” But there are also the questions of “why,” which remain:
“Why have you rejected me? Why do I have to walk around sad, oppressed by my enemies?”
“Why,” I ask myself, “are you so depressed?”
We can imagine the psalmist pleading with God, “Why?” because we know exactly what that feels like.
When life feels unjust, we find ourselves crying out to be rescued: God, save me now! My sense is that God is very familiar with human ranting and the demands heard from our voices! Yet, by verse 3, there is a different request: “Send your light and truth–those will guide me.”
Now it is not just that the Psalmist demanding justice or answers to the “whys.” Instead, the answer relies on knowing that we need God’s guidance. “God, send your light and truth,” because then I will know where my pathway leads.
Now, the psalmist’s voice becomes more than a demand for justice. Beyond crying out in pain, or for an answer, the psalmist recognizes that the road to rescue lies in sensing God’s guidance. Even in doubt and self-reproach, the psalmist knows that salvation comes in the form of God’s truth that lights one’s path. Now, the psalmist is asking for God’s truth and the way to God’s dwelling place. There is a growing relationship there! It is God’s guidance that will be the light that leads down the road. Beyond our doubts and our questions, it is God’s guidance that will light our pathways, too. And all roads lead us back to God.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Despite our demands and questions, God’s guidance brings us a sense of rescue. God’s guidance lights our pathways and leads us to God’s truth. God’s guidance brings us to God’s dwelling place, or being in relationship with God.
What do you do to hear God’s truth? How does God’s presence help guide your steps down the road?
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for always speaking to me. You help me to know justice and peace by lighting my ways that lead back to you. Please help me to know your truth and to erase any of my doubts. Thank you for staying with me along the way. Amen.