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Proper 26A Psalm

Psalm 43

Keegan Osinski

I have heard these words before. From friends and colleagues; in The Atlantic and in my Twitter feed.

The lament over an unfaithful nation, over deceitful and wicked oppressors, echoes down the millennia from the psalmist to our front pages, and into our very lives. Perhaps it even echoes out of our own throats.

Psalm 43 is the continuation and conclusion of Psalm 42, in which the psalmist cries out in agony and questions God’s absence:

“Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go about mourning,

oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony

as my foes taunt me,

saying to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”

The psalmist is crushed and alone, bone-tired and broken-boned. He has been taught that God, his help, will always be on his side, always comfort and deliver and redeem. But where is this God? Why has this God not shown up? And a better question: How is the psalmist still hanging in there? Over and over–three times in this two-part combo-psalm–he exhorts his soul:

“Put your hope in God,