Bible Highlights Psalms 42 to 72
Wait on Jehovah
Jehovah’s servants can meet tests of faith with endurance because God is their Refuge and Deliverer. How well this is shown in Book Two of the Psalms! Yes, Psalms 42 to 72 prove that we can endure if we prayerfully wait for Jehovah to act in our behalf.
“Wait for God”
Please read Psalms 42 to 45. An exiled Levite is sad that he cannot go to Jehovah’s sanctuary, but he is content to “wait for God” to act as his Deliverer. (Psalms 42, 43) Then comes a plea for an imperiled nation, perhaps alluding to the Assyrian invasion of Judah in King Hezekiah’s day. (Psalm 44) Next, a royal wedding song points to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.—Psalm 45.
◆ 42:1—How was the psalmist like a ‘hind longing for water’?
For some reason, this Levite was in exile. So greatly did he miss worship at Jehovah’s sanctuary that he felt like a hunted, thirsty hind, or female deer, that longs for water in barren, waterless country. He ‘thirsted,’ or yearned, for Jehovah and for the privilege of worshiping God at His sanctuary.—Verse 2 of Ps 42.
◆ 45:1—What “goodly matter” stirred the psalmist’s heart?
Part of this psalm was applied to Jesus Christ. (Psalm 45:6, 7; Hebrews 1:8, 9) So the psalmist’s heart was stirred by a future event—the installing of the Messianic Kingdom in 1914. Jehovah’s Witnesses, too, are moved to declare this “goodly matter.”
Lesson for Us: The experience of the psalmist in exile should move us to show deep appreciation for the association we now enjoy with Jehovah’s people. If confinement due to persecution temporarily prevents us from being with them, we can meditate on past joys in sacred service and should pray for endurance while we “wait for God” to restore us to active association with his worshipers.—Psalm 42:4, 5, 11; 43:3-5.
Our Merciful Refuge
Read Psalms 46 to 51. Jehovah, our Refuge, will cause wars to cease. (Psalm 46) He is “King over all the earth,” and this invincible Protector is our God forever. (Psalms 47, 48) The oppressed must wait on Jehovah, but all who ‘offer thanksgiving as their sacrifice’ will “see salvation by God.” (Psalms 49, 50) If we err but are repentant, as David was over his sin with Bath-sheba, God will deliver us from bloodguiltiness because ‘a heart broken and crushed he will not despise.’—Psalm 51.
◆ 46:2—How might “the earth undergo change”?
Even if the mountains disappeared into the sea in a natural upheaval of the earth, those trusting in God would have no cause for fear. No matter what happens, they can have unshakable confidence in Jehovah as their Refuge.
◆ 51:5—To what sin was David referring?
He did not mean that marital relations, conception, and birth are sinful; nor was he referring to any specific sin of his mother. Rather, he was acknowledging his own sinful nature as a descendant of Adam. (Job 14:4; Romans 5:12) Jehovah showed David mercy not only because of the Kingdom covenant but also because of his repentance.—2 Samuel 7:12-16.
Lesson for Us: Psalm 46 would fit the time when Jerusalem was threatened by the Assyrians. Knowing that ‘God is a refuge, a help readily found during distresses,’ King Hezekiah prayed to Jehovah, and the city was miraculously delivered. (2 Kings, chapter 19) When in distress we, too, should make God our Refuge. How? By trusting in him, adhering to his Word, and sticking to his organization.
Read Psalms 52 to 57. God will root a bad person ‘out of the land of the living’ and will “scatter the bones” of anyone opposing His people. (Psalms 52, 53) When hunted by Saul, David was confident about divine deliverance, and as a victim of treachery, he threw his burden upon Jehovah. (Psalms 54, 55) The psalmist was content to wait for God to end adversities.—Psalms 56, 57.
◆ 52:8—How is the righteous one like an olive tree?
An olive tree can symbolize fruitfulness, beauty, and dignity. (Jeremiah 11:16; Hosea 14:6) In this psalm, the wicked schemer who will come to a bad end is contrasted with the righteous person who is protected and prospers like a luxuriant olive tree.
◆ 54:1—Why did David say, “By your name save me”?
The divine name has no mystical powers but can represent God himself. Hence, by this plea, David acknowledged that Jehovah is capable of saving His people. (Exodus 6:1-8) Though the Ziphites revealed David’s whereabouts to King Saul, a Philistine invasion of Israel cut short Saul’s hunt for David. (1 Samuel 23:13-29; Psalm 54, superscription) Thus Jehovah did save David.
Lesson for Us: David’s foes had excavated a pitfall before him. (Psalm 57:6) Such a pit for trapping a human would denote perilous circumstances or intrigues endangering Jehovah’s servants. But opposers of God’s people can be trapped by their own evil schemes. So if we rely upon Jehovah and exercise caution, our deliverance is assured.—Proverbs 11:21; 26:27.
“Waiting in Silence”
Read Psalms 58 to 64. Out of concern over injustice, David prayed for divine retribution against the wicked. (Psalms 58, 59) When threatened with defeat, he pleaded for rescue and was sure that God would tread down the adversaries. (Psalm 60) Jehovah already had been a refuge for David; so he would wait silently for salvation. (Psalms 61, 62) Forced into the wilderness, perhaps when Absalom rebelled, David found joy ‘in the shadow of God’s wings.’ (Psalm 63) The psalmist also prayed for protection from “practicers of hurtfulness” and was confident that the righteous one would find refuge in Jehovah.—Psalm 64.
◆ 58:3-5—How are the wicked like a serpent?
The lying, slanderous statements of the wicked can destroy a victim’s reputation, even as a serpent’s venom can be deadly. (Psalm 140:3; Romans 3:13; James 3:8) Moreover, the wicked are “deaf like the cobra that stops up its ear,” for they refuse to hear and accept direction.
◆ 63:3—How is God’s loving-kindness “better than life”?
Life apart from God lacks true purpose. But Jehovah’s loyal love expressed toward David gave real meaning to his life. Intimacy with God always makes life meaningful for his approved servants, assures them of divine help and guidance, and enables them to look forward to an eternity of happy living.
Lesson for Us: David was content to “wait silently” for God to act in his behalf. (Psalm 62:1-7) Having submitted to Jehovah’s will, he felt secure and had quiet confidence in God. If we have such trust in Jehovah, “the peace of God” will guard our hearts and mental powers while we await divine deliverance from foes and tribulations.—Philippians 4:6, 7; Psalm 33:20.
Praise Our Deliverer
Read Psalms 65 to 72. Jehovah is praised as the Source of abundant crops, copious showers, lush pastures, and teeming flocks. (Psalm 65) Melody ought to be made “to the glory of his name.” (Psalm 66) He should be lauded, and he is praised as “a God of saving acts.” (Psalms 67, 68) Sufferings of the Messiah are foretold, and Jehovah is extolled as “the Provider of escape” for whose help the psalmist will wait. (Psalms 69-71) Such trust will be rewarded, for earth-wide prosperity and deliverance from oppression are assured during the Messiah’s blessed reign.—Psalm 72.
◆ 68:11—Who constitute the “large army” of women?
After Jehovah used Israel’s fighting men to vanquish an enemy, Israelite women proclaimed the good news of victory with music, song, and dance. (1 Samuel 18:6, 7; compare Exodus 15:20, 21.) In obedience to God’s “saying,” or command, the men of Israel fought against the enemy nations of the Promised Land and defeated them. This gave Israelite women good news to proclaim in victory celebrations. Today, women ministers play a notable role as Kingdom proclaimers telling out the good news relating to Jehovah’s “saying,” which includes serving notice on the nations that they will soon be subdued by the Messianic King, Jesus Christ.
◆ 69:23—Why was God asked to make enemy hips wobble?
When the strong muscles in the hips are tensed, they can exert much power. But loss of power results when hips shake or wobble, perhaps because of fear. In this plea for deliverance, David asked God to deprive his foes of their misapplied strength.
◆ 72:16—What does this productivity signify?
‘Fruit as in Lebanon’ may denote grain growing so close and high that it was like Lebanon’s verdant, lofty groves. Perhaps flourishing on terraces up to the mountaintops, the tall, thick stalks supporting heavy heads of grain could be compared to the towering, massive cedars of Lebanon. This points to unusually abundant harvests during the Messiah’s reign. And the fact that ‘those from the city will blossom like vegetation’ indicates that Jesus’ earthly subjects will be numerous indeed.
Lesson for Us: The psalmist prayed: “Because you have made me see many distresses and calamities, may you [Jehovah] revive me again.” (Psalm 71:20) Although God does not cause such hardships, he allows us to be tested and to furnish a reply to his Taunter, the Devil. (James 1:13; Proverbs 27:11) Jehovah never lets us be tempted beyond what we can bear and can help us to come through our trials with strong faith. (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Peter 1:6, 7) Anointed Christians saw “many distresses and calamities” when they were persecuted at the climax of World War I. But Jehovah ‘revived them’ in 1919, and they pressed on in Kingdom service, later being joined by the “great crowd.” (Revelation 7:9) For such an outcome, surely praise is due the Great Deliverer.
Faith is required to wait for God to act in our behalf. We may have to wait in silence because we can do nothing to change our difficult circumstances. Yet, we will be able to endure, as did the psalmists, if we are content to wait on Jehovah.