Day 4

Longing for God’s Justice

from the Amen & Amen reading plan

Psalm 42:1-11, Psalm 43:1-5, Psalm 44:1-26

BY Hannah Little

Book II

The collection of psalms in Book II express lament and distress about present circumstances and conditions while looking to the faithfulness of God.

Something about this season of life has made me hyper-aware of how unsatisfying and broken this world is. Maybe this is my version of a quarter-life crisis? Whatever the reason, I’m left to reconcile the fact that there are no do-overs on the way brokenness has drastically impacted my life. Some of the brokenness is mine. But some of it is not, and that’s harder for me to sit with, knowing there’s nothing I can do to undo it. Thankfully, I’m not alone in this frustration; I see it written all over today’s psalms.

These psalms mark the beginning of Book II. Like Book I, these psalms express distress about present circumstances while looking to the faithfulness of God. These psalms primarily use the name Elohim, which is translated as “God” in most English Bibles and demonstrates His unmatched power and majesty. It’s this very name the authors—familiar ones like David and less familiar ones like temple keepers and singers—call on amid their distress, the One they know to be stronger than any enemy or circumstance they face. 

Each psalm from today echoes the same cry: the desire for God’s presence and justice amid sorrowful, frustrating circumstances out of their control. In Psalm 42–43 we see it on an individual level, and in Psalm 44, a national level. We aren’t given the details of their circumstances, but we are given the details of the desire and cry of their heart.

In the first verse, we see a longing for God’s presence: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God” (Psalm 42:1). It’s interesting to me that this is the first request. The psalmist’s priority in addressing God is not that God would right his circumstances but that God would give him His presence. Oh, that my prayer would be the same, longing for God more than I long for Him to right all that is wrong in my life. 

As much as I learn from and long to be like the psalmist, I relate to him too as I see his frustration quickly surface. 

Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God…

Just like this psalmist, I’m experiencing this broken world with a mind not yet completely sanctified. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t convince my mind and heart to align with what I know is true. In a way, the psalmist appears comfortable with this tension, repeating it over and over again. The psalmist knows God’s presence is what’s best, the best place to desire and the best place to be in. So, why is he so sad and hopeless? Instead of trying to resolve the tension, he just starts talking to himself. The psalmist is calling himself to hope, even though his feelings haven’t quite caught up. 

The injustices around us may not be made right on this side of eternity. But, we can grieve and get to work amid the seemingly never-ending weight of brokenness, all while dwelling in the hope we experience in God’s presence. 

Post Comments (58)

58 thoughts on "Longing for God’s Justice"

  1. Hannah says:

    Lord, help me to desire and long for your presence over your all other things. There is peace in your presence that calms my mind and quiets my soul. In the midst of brokenness, may I be an ambassador of your goodness and your love, Lord.

  2. Jill Navarro says:

    Comforting to know even the psalmist struggles with having complete faith in God. Just like the psalmist my mind knows God is in control but my heart still fears. In each Situation God shows me he is in control, and yet my heart is still not completely at peace..

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