A Call To The Remnant

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Why So Downcast Oh My Soul?

Posted by appolus on February 15, 2008

O my God, my soul is cast down within me.” (Psalm 42)

“Are you downcast today? Has the troubles of life, the trials of circumstances mounted up and overwhelmed you? Are you wandering in a spiritual wilderness? Perhaps you even feel abandoned by God?”


O my God, my soul is cast down within me.” (Psalm 42)

Are you downcast today? Has the troubles of life, the trials of circumstances mounted up and overwhelmed you? Are you wandering in a spiritual wilderness? Perhaps you even feel abandoned by God?

Psalm 42 was written by the “Sons of Korah,” a musical family descended from the priest who had led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron(Num 16). The family of Korah had been the premier worship leaders for hundreds of years after this incident.

It is comforting to know that even after such a rebellion against the will of God that there was restoration for this family and they were used mightily by God. When this psalm was written, the psalmist was in exile far from the Temple in Jerusalem. The temple of course has been the center of worship and where the shekinah glory of the living God was experienced by the multitudes of worshippers. Now the psalmist was deeply longing for this experience, to worship in the presence of God.

Do you deeply long for it today?Has the multitude of your troubles somehow separated you from the presence of the living God?Is the only water you are experiencing right now the tears that fall in the shadows of the night, the darkness of your situation?

The psalmist uses an unusually expressive term “As the deep pants for the waterbrooks so my soul longeth after you, oh my God.” God bless you today if your “soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

My youngest son is named Daniel, as most of you know he has Down Syndrome. He also had other troubles which required more than one major surgery. One night as I drove home from the hospital, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation.

It all just came crashing down on me and I wept, uncontrollably. And in the midst of my wracked sobs, the presence of the Lord filled the car and His hand lifted my chin up and He said to me “Frank, why is your soul so downcast, put your trust in me.”

There is a term amongst shepherds called “casting.” It refers to a sheep on its back. If a sheep falls onto its back, it does not have the ability to get upright again. The blood will begin to drain from the sheep’s legs, and the weight of its body will press down upon its lungs and it will begin to suffocate. It will slowly die.

Perhaps you feel like your on your back today? You do not have the ability to get up again. The situation and circumstances are outwith your control. You do not feel the presence of God, you feel alone and isolated, the joy is gone and you have lost you “song in the night.”

Let me tell you what the shepherd does when He comes upon a “downcast ,” sheep. First of all He begins to rub their legs to bring some of the blood back,get the circulation going a bit. Then He takes one hand and grabs the two back legs, then the other hand and grabs the two front legs and hoists the sheep up and over His head and around His neck. He then carries the sheep until it has recovered and only then does He put it back down on the ground.

This is a perfect illustration of what the Lord will do for those who cry out to Him. The sheep that are “downcast,” on their backs are found not because they are silent, but because they cry out with all the strength left in them so that the shepherd might hear them.

If you are downcast today brothers and sisters, cry out to the Lord with all the strength that you have left in you. Remember the days when you “used to go with the multitude:I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise.” I pray that today is the day that your joy returns, that you will have your song in the night.

Even in the midst of darkness, may your joy be complete in Him. The good shepherd of our souls who would take your chin this day, very gently and say “why so downcast,” my child, “put your trust in me,” see now I will lift you from this place and put you on my back awhile for when you walk with me for “my yoke is easy and my burden it is light and you will find rest for your souls.”

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