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Commentary » Psalms 42:9-Psalms 42:11 »

David Questions God as to Why He Has to Suffer

There is a legend that Satan decided to get rid of a number of his tools, so he arranged an auction. There were envy, deceit, malice, sensuality, enmity, thoughtlessness, and many other tools which Satan had used successfully (priced very low). One piece, marked very high, was la … More


The Psalmist asks three troubling questions (vv. 9-11) in faith, for he remembers that God is his Rock, his protector, and foundation. He cannot help but hope in Him in the middle of difficult circumstances. This passage suggests some sort of betrayal, most likely involving slander. Jesus used these same words to describe His betrayal (John 13:18). No day will ever come when the child of God is forsaken by God. God never forgets His own, even though in our circum­stances it may, humanly speaking, seem to us that he has (v.  9). The historical record makes it clear that David was not forsaken (II Sam. 19:9-40). The slanderous statements were like daggers in his bones (v. 10). His enemies were continually asking him, where is thy God?  Even though he feels great dejection he has not forgotten the solution to that discouragement for he knows that his only hope is in God (v. 11). In the Bible hope is not a “hope so” but is a guarantee that the future is secure.

Sometimes we don’t even know why we feel discouraged. It is good at those times to just put our hope in God. When the present is difficult, we usually look to the past or to the future. People who are depressed are often living in the past. They remember “the good old days” which probably were really not that good and begin comparing it to the present circumstances. This only promotes self-pity which is one of life’s most destructive forces. Satan likes to use the past as a weapon to discourage us as he reminds us of our past sins. On the contrary, God wants to use the past as a tool to build us up. When we read about Ezra (Ezra 3:8-13) laying the foundations of the second temple it says, the old men wept but the young men saw the hand of God in the building of the new temple.


When I get discouraged do I tend to compare my circumstances with things of the past or others around me? Lord help me to be thinking on the greatness of God! Thinking about how great God is and being discouraged at the same time is impossible.

Psalms 42:9-11 (English Standard Version)

I say to God, my rock: "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »