A maskil comes from the verb that means instruction or enlightenment, so Psalm 42 is meant for our instruction or enlightenment. As we read the psalm, we see that the psalmist deeply and desperately longs for God. He’s in the middle of external circumstances that have caused internal despair. Psalm 42 An honest Prayer from a Discouraged Saint. David is the only known Psalmist in book one. In the second book of Psalms, David authored 18 of the 31, more than half. But in this second book, other Psalmists appear: Asaph and Solomon have one each, seven (perhaps eight) Psalms belong to the Sons of Korah, and three have no author listed. (Psalm 42:1–2) What makes this so beautiful and so crucial for us is that he is not thirsting mainly for relief from his threatening circumstances. He is not thirsting mainly for escape from his enemies or for their destruction. It’s not wrong to want relief, and to pray for it. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Love this.
It reads in Psalm 42:1-11 KJV:
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.