The Dream, the Despair, and the Deliverance

Praying Through the Bible #52 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Psalm 42:1-8

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible”. The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the new Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have done 51 messages in this series.

This is message #52 titled “The Dream, the Despair, and the Deliverance”

Today, our nation is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders to call for freedom, equality, and jobs for African-Americans in 1963. Even though slavery had ended, blacks still faced discrimination and economic and political repression. In the South, Jim Crow laws ensured that blacks remained second-class citizens.

At the March on Washington, Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Even though the ideals King talked about in his speech were not a reality at the time, they were something that many good-hearted people in our nation were committed to striving for. Their striving was not only informed by a sense of the need for justice and equality, but they were striving to move our nation in a direction closer to what God wanted it to be. Dr. Lewis Baldwin, who wrote the book, “Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.”, said that “prayer was King’s secret weapon in the civil rights movement”, a key to its success as people found the strength to continue despite arrests and killings.

As we open our passage for today, we find that David is striving for something as well. He is striving to get to the place where he knows God wants him to be. David’s dream was to be in that place where he was with God and felt God’s presence with him at all times. Each of us, today, have dreams or visions of where we want to be. I hope that one of those dreams is to get closer to where God wants you to be in your walk with Him. But, as we see in our passage, sometimes it takes a little bit of trouble to get us to that place.

Today, in light of the events happening in our nation I want to talk to you about dreams, despair, and deliverance and how we find David at each of these places in this Psalm.

1. We find the Psalmist in pursuit of his dream. David states in verse 1, “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…” The word “hart” is the Old English word for “stag” or “deer”. This verse puts us in the mind of an animal that is desperately thirsty. His thirst is unbearable. If he does not find water, he will not last much longer.

2. We find the Psalmist in the depths of despair. As we turn back to our passage, we find that even though David is pursuing his dream of finding safety and refuge in the Lord, a question of despair hangs over his head. In verses 2 and 3 we find David asking this question: “When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?”

3. We find the Psalmist accepting God’s promise of deliverance. Finally, as we come to a close in this passage, David moves from the pursuit of his dream and the depths of despair to the promise of deliverance. He says’ “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

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