MEMORY VERSE: "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?" (Psalm 42: 1,2). 

TEXTS: PSALMS 42 to 45

Thirst is a strong desire or craving to satisfy one's need. The psalmist uses a synonymous word, 'pant' in the text to express his acute craving and desire for newer and greater experience of God's presence and power when he encountered adverse situations that overwhelmed his ability and potentials. This study portrays his miserable, sorrowful and depressing condition when he was cut off from the precious privilege of communion with God. In his quest for fresher spiritual experience, he is inspired to exalt Christ's majesty as the royal Bridegroom of the Church, His bride. In spite of his predicament, the psalmist remembers God's faithfulness and confidently pants after Him for deliverance and comfort (Psalms 43:4; 12: 1 , 2): Believers who are distressed by the battles of life should not despair but meditate on God's providence with the confidence that He will deliver and comfort them unfailingly (Isaiah 43:1-5).

Questions 1: What should be the attitude of believer going through the battles of life?

PRIORITY OF THIRSTING AFTER GOD (Psalms 42:1-1 1; 43:1-5; Job 5:6-8; Joel 1: 19,20; Psalms 63:1-7; 79:7- 1 1; 80:3-7; 143:6)

"My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" (Psalm 42:2). The psalmist craved opportunity for communion with the living God, which he had been deprived of. He panted after the living God who is the Fountain of life and all happiness to every genuinely converted soul. Believers can never find rest anywhere outside Christ. Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). The psalmist's longing for the well of Bethlehem could not be compared to his soul's thirsting for the living God, hence he likened it to the panting of a hart (2 Samuel 23: 15, 16). His attachment to the presence of God was so intense that remembering the benefits of the sanctuary of God led him to tears day and night. Believers who are faced with life challenges should seek the Lord's intervention with importunity until their requests are granted (Luke 11:5-9).

The psalmist was reproached and harassed by enemies because of his condition. They made a mockery of his faith in God as "they continually say unto [him], Where is thy God?" (Psalm 42:3). Believers are sometimes taunted because of delay in answers to their prayers; unbelievers may ridicule and conclude that God has abandoned them. Such believers should not be bothered or give up their faith in God. As they continue to thirst after the living God, He will intervene and grant their petitions.

Questions 2: What can believers learn from the psalmist's persistent panting for God despite the enemy's ridicule?

The psalmist reflected on God's presence and liberty, and his heart melted. He poured out his soul before Him in prayers. This brokenness of spirit was not caused by remembrance of the pleasures at the court, but of the free access he formerly had into God's presence. Believers should set their affections only on God and things that will guarantee them eternal comfort and reward (Colossians 3:2). On realising that he could not find relief by communing with his own heart about his misery, the psalmist turned to God and presented his troubles before Him. A believer cannot get relief for his burdened spirit by murmuring and unnecessary complaints. The antidote to forgetting our miseries is to remember God and His mercies, and put our hope in Him (l Peter 5:7). 

The intensity of the enemy's oppression and reproach pushed the psalmist to continual mourning every day. He was so distressed that he was discouraged. Consequently, he concluded that God had forgotten and cast him off to his enemy, as a token of His displeasure against him. "For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" (Psalm 43:2). But God can never forget His children who put their trust in Him. The psalmist later realised this and said, "...hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God" (Psalm 43:5). Believers who are persecuted or passing through trials like the psalmist should know that all that would live godly in Christ will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). 


(Psalm 44:1-26; Joshua 4:5-7; Psalm 78:3,4; Deuteronomy 11:19; Joshua 7:8-12; Job 23:11, 12; Psalm 119: 157)

"We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old" (Psalm 44:1). The psalmist acknowledged God's faithfulness in liberating Israel from Egyptian bondage and giving them the Promised Land as it was revealed to their fathers. He expressed total discontent with their present spiritual condition caused by backsliding and recalled God's wonderful deeds to their fathers through His providence. The patriarchs kept a meticulous account of the wonders of God and transmitted that knowledge to their posterity. The testimony of God's power and goodness is a strong support to faith and powerful basis for prayer in the nights of calamity. Believers are encouraged to teach their children and others the goodness of God towards His children so as to build their faith and trust in Him (Deuteronomy Isaiah 38:19). It is a scriptural responsibility for parents to teach their children the word of God on a daily basis and inculcate godly attributes in them lest they depart from the way of the Lord.

Questions 3: What can we learn from the way the wonders of God's providence were recorded for Israel by their fathers?

Their fathers specifically told them how God marvellously planted Israel in the Promised Land by granting them complete victory over the Canaanites. They did not attribute these victories to their own merit, strength or number, but to the providence of God (Deuteronomy 9:5,6). As believers, all success and enlargement in our lives cannot be attributed to our might and ingenuity, but God's favour and power without which all our efforts would be fruitless.

It is instructive that Israel's success and victory came only when they trusted God in absolute obedience. They took Him as their sovereign Lord and gave wholehearted allegiance to Him. They trusted and triumphed in Him. For believers to maintain sustainable victory over their adversaries, they must continue to be obedient to the Lord in all situations.

"But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies" (Psalm 44:9). Israel, at this time, cried to God in their present state of discontentment. They turned their backs before their enemies like in the day of Joshua (Joshua 7:8). They were doomed to the sword of their enemies, and were grievously overwhelmed by sorrow and pain of abandonment. God cast them off and caused them to be smitten by their enemies because they put their trust in idols (1 Chronicles 28:9; Hosea 8:3). His promises are conditional: "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them" (Leviticus 26:3). If a believer breaks the conditions of God's covenant, He will leave him at the mercy and destruction of the enemy like a sheep without a shepherd. "All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant" (Psalm 44:17). Although the whole nation of Israel had a national calamity that overwhelmingly threw them into discontentment, they still expressed their faith in God. Believers are encouraged to hold fast their integrity like Job in the midst of sorrow and afflictions (Job 1:20-22). They should keep praying to God who will eventually deliver them (Psalm 121:4-8).

Questions 4: What can contemporary believers do to secure continual access to the covenant blessings of God?


(Psalm 45: 1-17; Philippians 2:.9- 11; Isaiah 9:6; Psalms 93:1-5; 33:4-6, 95:2-7; Malachi 1:11)

"My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45:1). The psalmist spoke about the majesty and loving relationship between Christ, the Bridegroom and the Church. He also portrayed Him as the "most mighty" with glory and majesty that appears in truth, meekness and righteousness (Psalm 45:2-4). Christ upholds believers by the light of His truth, controls their passions by the power of His meekness and governs their hearts and lives by His righteous laws. Thus, they receive sufficient spiritual blessings from Him (Ephesians 1:3). As a mighty Man of war with great glory and majesty, He has defeated all our enemies. Christ loves righteousness and truth. "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." In recompense of what He has done and suffered for the advancement of righteousness and the destruction of wickedness and sin, God has anointed Him with the oil of gladness. He has also highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above all names. ...That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:8-11).

"All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad" (Psalm 45:8). The myrrh, aloes and cassia were parts of the basic ingredients of the holy anointing oil, which was appointed for, and commonly used in the sanctuary of God (Exodus 30:23-25). This was a type of the great unction of the Holy Spirit that was received by Christ our great High Priest, whose savour of grace, meekness, righteousness and comfort draw souls to Him. Having obtained this precious nature and the scents of godly lifestyles, saints should attract sinners and backsliders to the Lord (Matthew 5:14-16). True believers are compared to the daughters of the king, richly arrayed with the gold of Ophir, which is a symbol of purity. As brides adorned with the ornament of gold, we can confidently access the glorious throne of God daily with our prayers and praises and expect responses from Him (Psalm 34:15-17).

Questions 5: What is the basic condition for believers to access the throne of grace as stated in Hebrews 12:14?

The psalmist also made clear some responsibilities the Bridegroom expects from the royal Bride (the Church). She must cast off her garment of sin and be entirely separated from the systems and traditions of the world that can potentially tarnish her purity. The Church is subject to Christ as the wife is to her husband. Hence, we must do His will, obey His word and honour Him at all times. As a reward, the Bridegroom has prepared for us a rich and splendid city, full of glory and praises that will endure forever (John 14:1-3). True 'believers who endure to the end shall inherit heaven, see His glory and share in it, and forever praise Him.

Questions 6: Mention a true believer's responsibilities towards the Bridegroom and the rewards of honour that await him. 

The hope of eternal glory in heaven should make us pant after God who gives us the grace to endure and overcome gloomy nights of troubles.



TEXT: PSALMS 42:1-11; 43:1-5; 44:1-26; 45:1-17

MEMORY VERSE: "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" (Psalm 42:2).

The Psalmist reveals his longing for God. He knows beyond any shadow of doubt that he will find joy, gladness and happiness in the presence of God. He felt abandoned by God during the time of oppression, suffering and discouragement. The Psalmist rehearsed the goodness and faithfulness of God that their fathers taught them. They got to the promised land not because of their own power, strength and skills but because God drove away the inhabitants before them. He also expressed absolute confidence in God that He will give them victory over their enemies. Despite the difficulties and unpleasant circumstances they found themselves, the Isrealites still remain faithful to God, they cried out for divine intervention.


(Psalms 42:1-11; 43:1-5; 63:1-2; Matthew 5:6; Psalm 27:4; Revelation 22:17; 1 Peter 5:7; 1 Samuel 30:6).

"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?" (Psalm 42:1,2). Thirst refers to the sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat caused by lack of fluid which result in a desire to drink. In the same way that our bodies need water, our souls should thirst for God in order to be spiritually healthy. He expressed his longing and desire for more of God in his life. "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God". He was not thirsty for physical or material things but for God (2 Samuel 23:15). Does your soul desire God more than anything else?

We need to develop an unquenchable longing for God than pleasure, success, money, promotion ,etc. God wants us to crave for more of Him in our lives. He is ever ready to satisfy our thirst for Him (John 7:37). We must long to know Him in a deeper and more intimate way (Psalm 43:6). We should long to be like Christ, for the word of God, for God's presence and fellowship, for His power and glory, for righteousness and holiness, to win souls for Him, and to be with Him in heaven at the end of life. 

"My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?" (Psalm 42:3, 10). The enemies challenged God in the life of the Psalmist by asking him "where is thy God?". This statement of the enemies moved him to tears day and night. "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" (Psalm 42:4).

Christian youths need to understand that when things do not seem to work in their favour, God is working behind the scene for our good. The Psalmist delighted in going to the house of God with other people of likeminds to worship God. He desired joy and gladness in abiding in the presence of God for worship (Psalm 122:1). Believing youths should always feel happy to go to God's house for worship. The Psalmist recollected the joy of worship with others and singing praises to God.

When experiencing the moment of cast down, Christian youths should not engage in self–pity and complaint. They are to go to God in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving to present their problems to Him. "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God" (Psalm 43:4).


(Psalm 44:1-26; 1 Peter 4:12; Psalm 34:19; Proverbs 24:16; Psalm 118:5; Jeremiah 33:3; 1 Peter 4:12,13; Psalm 55:22; Mark 4:38).

"We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old" (Psalm 44:1).The Psalmist enumerated the wonderful and great miracles that God did for their fathers. He also expressed confidence in the power of God to overcome and subdue their adversaries.

As Christian youths, we must understand the power of sharing the testimonies of God's mighty works and wonders in our lives. By doing this, it helps strengthen their faith and confidence in God and presents Him as All powerful who is able to solve all problems. God's promises to Christian youths who are passing through challenges is that He will deliver them (Psalm 34:19). There will be trials of faith but He is faithful to see them through in the darkest moments.

"Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart" (Psalm 44:21). Nothing is hidden before God. He knows our hearts, thoughts, desires, motives and minds (1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23). God searches the hearts. Is your heart right with God? Is it free from defilements, corruption, pollution and thoughts? The Lord wants our hearts to be pure and holy. His demand is that His word should dwell in our hearts richly (Colossians 3:16). As Christian youths, we need to exercise our hearts always and guard it against every form of defilement (Proverbs 4:23).

"Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever" (Psalm 44:23). The Psalmist thought God is sleeping. God does not sleep. He is eternally awake (Psalm 121:4). He cried out to God to awake out of His sleep and not to cast them off for ever. As Christian youths, we must understand that God's eyes are always open to watch over us and cannot cast away His own beloved children (Psalm 44:26). When faced with hard times, we should seek divine help, no matter how critical our situations may be, the Lord is willing to help us if we cry to Him in faith. We must read, study and meditate on the word of God always and also allow the word to dwell in us (Psalm 119:9,11). 


This chapter expresses an occasion of a king having marriage ceremony. However, the Psalm also prophetically apply to Jesus Christ and His bride, the church, the assembly of saved souls.

"Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever" (Psalm 45:2). This expresses God's blessing on the Messiah. These were fulfilled in Christ. "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:8, 9). The king who celebrated the marriage has power, riches and wealth but these attributes amount to nothing. This is a lesson for all. What the Lord searches in our lives is obedience to His word. In this Psalm, Jesus Christ prophetically defends the truth, love righteousness and hates wickedness, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Psalm 45:6, 7).

We are called to be loyal and faithfully obey God and His word. We are also called to worship the Lord without allowing family ties to hinder us. "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him" (Psalm 45:10,11). This will give us access into the heavenly palace (Psalm 45:15). And will bring us into remembrance. "I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever" (Psalm 45:17). 


Question 1: What should be our longing as Christian youths?

Question 2: What should be our attitude when we are cast down?

Question 3: Enumerate the impacts of sharing God's goodness with others.

Question 4: How can a Christian youth keep his heart pure always?