The Presence of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 43:1–5 (ESV)

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! 2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 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.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm ends with the same refrain that we read twice in Psalm 42: “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.” With these words, the psalmists reminds himself that he can trust in God and that he will again be in the presence of God. This psalm seems to especially look forward to a return to the temple, which was the center of worship and the special place of God’s dwelling among his people in the Old Testament (cf. vv. 3-4).

As Christians, we know that we can worship God anywhere and that we have his Spirit dwelling within us. The Bible tells us that we are the temple of the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19). Yet, we also experience times when it feels as if God is far away. It is in those times that we need to remind ourselves that God is with us as we walk by faith in his word. One day, all of God’s people will be in his presence for eternity. In that day, our faith will be realized and we will see him in his glory.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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