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Psalm 43 opens with a desperate cry. “Vindicate me, O God and plead my cause” (v1, NIV). While it is not clear who wrote this psalm or what the exact troubling situation was, the message is clear.
Something has gone terribly wrong. An injustice has been done. Truth has been twisted; trust violated and outright lies spoken. “Defend me, rescue me” cries the psalmist. Get me out of this humanly produced hell.
He acknowledges his position. God had always been his safe place. His vexing dilemma? “Where is God when I desperately need Him? “
Prayer takes many different forms including “venting prayers.” The pressure of the difficult situation and God’s apparent silence was more than frustrating. The psalmist spills out his irritation and disappointment and says it as he feels it. He vents. “Why have you turned me away? Why must enemies mistreat me and make me sad?”
In his inner pain, he makes a pivotal plea. “Send your light and your truth…lead me to your house.”
The psalmist had a specific location in mind, a place where he vividly remembers being in the presence of God. He pinpoints an altar—a sacred place—where he saw, heard, and felt a divine encounter that went beyond human language. There he had grasped and deeply understood the great love of the Father, for him. He ached to return to that sacred place. It was a place of worship, deep joy and surrender. That moment sealed a divine reality. “You are my God.” (v4 and 5b, italics added). Divine encounters always change us.
The tone of the psalm now changes. The psalmist engages in meaningful soul-talk. “Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God.”
Dear Father, Too many times I’ve wandered away from a divine place of joy because I have allowed my earthly circumstances to cloud out your great love for me. May wrongdoings by others never rob me of your presence. When you are silent, may I know you are with me. Amen.