Most of us know the opening lines of Psalm 42 from learning the contemporary praise song, "As the Deer."
I don't enjoy singing that song because I can't say with any honesty that my soul is thirsty for God the way a deer pants for flowing streams. 41: 1-2
I want to know God, but I am not desperate, or laser like in my focus. I don't have that "one thing have I desired" attitude of Psalm 27:4.
Reading between the lines, Psalm 42 and 43 seem to be about a person who longs to return to Jerusalem to worship God in the Temple. The clue is v.4: "These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival."
He is down cast and in great inner turmoil because this one thing that means all the world to him: worshiping God with others in the temple is no longer happening. Which raises this question: if you could not gather with other believers at FPC would it bother you? Your answer may reveal your understanding of the Church.
Add to this the daily taunts of unbelievers peppering him with the question, "Where is your God?"
Cut off from temple worship and sorely taunted night and day by unbelievers, he sinks into depression. In v. 5, 11, 43: 5, he fights against the pull of apathy. "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God." This person's a fighter; faithful, ever confident that a day will come when the obstacles keeping him from the place of worship will be removed by God.
Seriously, we have no such obstacles standing in our way, except for the myriad of distractions, be they TV, parties, shopping, sports, etc., which actually deaden our sense of desire for God.
O that God would grant us all a deep thirst for his presence. May God become our exceeding joy! (43: 4) amen.