Study Guide – Psalm 43

Psalm431 Vindicate me, my God,

    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.

The writer of this psalm asks God to "plead" his cause against an unfaithful nation. Why might the psalmist need God's defense?

How good of a defending attorney do you think God could be? 

What makes it possible for the writer of this psalm to dare ask God to defend him?

2 You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?

What contradictions exist in verse 2? What experiences in your life help you relate to this kind of paradox?

How does verse 2 change your understanding of the psalmist's prayer in verse 1?

3 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

We use words like "light" and "faithful" flippantly sometimes. In this prayer, what would these words actually mean?

Considering the circumstances the writer of this psalm might be in, how could God's "light" and God's "faithful care" practically lead the psalmist to the "place" where God dwells? 

Are these verses just a spiritual metaphor, or does the psalmist have a more practical outcome in mind? What makes you think so?

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. NIV

As with some other psalms, the final verse ends in contrast to the first verse. Compare verse 1 and verse 5. How do these verses complement each other?


The first four verses of this psalm were directed towards God, but verse 5 is directed towards the writer's own soul. Several other psalms also speak directly to the soul. Why, at times, would it be necessary to do this?

What should you remind your soul to do today?


::::: Further Reflection :::::

Notice that verse 5 is identical to both the middle verse and the final verse of Psalm 42. Many people have wondered through the ages whether Psalm 42 and 43 should be linked together as one psalm. If you have time today, read through Psalm 42 and consider how it might deepen the meaning of Psalm 43.

Related articles

Study Guide – Psalm 120
Study Guide – Psalm 117
Study Guide – Psalm 95
Study Guide – Psalm 13
Study Guide – Psalm 1

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