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Psalm 43 is a continuation of Psalm 42 and forms a whole with it. Psalm 43 has no heading, which makes it plausible to view this psalm as a continuation of Psalm 42. Also, the refrain that occurs three times in both psalms is a strong argument for the unity of the two psalms (Psa 42:5; 11; Psa 43:5). Also, the question occurs in both psalms: “Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Psa 42:9b; Psa 43:2b).
There is a distinction, however. The enemies in Psalm 42 are the nations; the enemies in Psalm 43 are the unbelieving compatriots. The latter is an even greater distress. Psalm 42 is a lamentation related to memories of the past. Psalm 43 is a supplication to God in connection with the enemy within the people, the antichrist, who will also exercise his evil influence on the Jews in the dispersion outside the land.
Send Out Your Light and Your Truth
The God-fearing further expands his need before God. He now asks that God vindicates him and pleads his case (Psa 43:1). God can do that by delivering him from “an ungodly nation” which is the ungodly mass of God’s people, and “from the deceitful and unjust man”, which is the antichrist. The ungodly mass is the large part of God’s people who reject the covenant that God has made with His people and do not keep it. The antichrist is the leader of this ungodly mass. He takes the place of Christ – as Absalom took David’s place (2Sam 15:1-14) – and is therefore the man of deceit and injustice.
The God-fearing calls God “the God of my strength” (Psa 43:2), by which he means that he counts on God to use His strength against his enemies. But it seems that God is using His strength against him, His faithful servant. In any case, God did not use His strength to stop the enemy. After all, God rejects him. This is a more powerful expression than being “forgotten” by God, as he says in Psalm 42 (Psa 42:9a). And that while he goes “mourning because of the oppression of the enemy” (cf. Psa 42:9b). Surely then God does notice that he is mourning because he misses fellowship with Him so much, doesn’t He?
God can do something else for him and that is to send out His “light” and His “truth” to lead and bring him to God’s holy hill, which is Zion, and to His dwelling places, which is His temple (Psa 43:3). In doing so, the remnant, without realizing it themselves, is asking for the coming of the Lord Jesus as Messiah. He is “the light of the world” (Jn 8:12) and He is “the truth” (Jn 14:6). This is in sharp contrast to the antichrist who claims of himself that he is God, which is a lie. His true nature is that of a liar. The Lord Jesus is the One Who has revealed the truth about God (Jn 1:1-18). When He is sent by God, He will bring back His people into God’s presence.
We can also think of the Word of God which is a light and the truth (Psa 119:105; Jn 17:17). The God-fearing is not primarily concerned with returning to the land and his possessions, but with the presence of God. He already experiences it when God leads him by His light and His truth. His goal with that is to be brought to God’s “holy hill”, Mount Zion, and God’s “dwelling places”, the temple. He longs very much for the dwelling place of God to be with Him there.
If God does, then he can “go to the altar of God” to sacrifice there (Psa 43:4; cf. 2Sam 6:17). He can go to God Himself, Whom He calls “my exceeding joy” and he can “praise” Him “upon the lyre”. God is the source of his joy; he finds all happiness in Him. Here the God-fearing is in the direct presence of God Himself. We hear his deep joy when he says to God: “O God, my God.” Then his heart is at rest and he can give thanks to God in all keys. After all, God is enthroned upon the praises of Israel (Psa 22:3b).
There is an ascension in Psa 43:3-4:
1. God’s holy hill,
2. God’s dwelling places,
3. God’s altar,
4. God, his exceeding joy.
The psalm ends with the refrain that appears twice in the previous psalm (Psa 43:5; Psa 42:5; 11). He says here, as in Psalm 42, that he will praise God because God Himself is “the help [or: saving acts] of my countenance” (Psa 42:11). He also calls God “my God” here.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 43". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13