Psalm 43 — The hostage

Psalms of the sons of Korah

This psalm is consistent to someone who has been taken hostage. From the point of view of hostages, no matter how hard people are fighting to get free, nothing being done on their behalf can be seen until the point when they are freed.

An instructor posing as a terrorist holds a handgun to the head of a hostage in the flight terminal during a simulated hijack exercise.
Shared on a Creative Commons licence.

The books of Psalms are roughly themed like this:

Book 1: Psalms 1 – 41: God is beside us.
Book 2: Psalms 42 – 72: God goes before us
Book 3: Psalms 73 – 89: God is all around us.
Book 4: Psalms 90 – 106: God is above us.
Book 5: Psalms 107 – 150: God is among us.

Psalms 42, 44–49, 84, 85, 87 and 88 are attributed to the Sons of Korah. Korah, was a cousin of Moses and Arron who led a revolt against Moses: Korah died in the rebellion. His three sons were named as singers in the Tabernacle and their offspring in the Temple. The sons of Korah who wrote these psalms are descended from Korah’s sons, not necessarily the sons themselves.

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

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.

Psalm 43 ESVUK

This is a series about the psalms attributed to the sons of Korah. Although Psalm 43 has no attribution, I have good reason for looking at it here. It has the same verse/chorus structure as Psalm 42, with Psalm 43:5 being the same chorus as Psalm 42:5 and 42:11. This could mean that it was once been one psalm in three verses which has been split into two, possibly when the Psalm was translated from Hebrew into Greek. Alternatively it could be written at a later date by some else in the style of Psalm 42.Whatever the reason, Psalms 42 and 43 belong together. Also because there is no attribution there is no designation that this is a Maskil, belonging to Wisdom literature, but because the tone of the psalm is so close to that of Psalm 42 we can safely assume that this is Wisdom. That was covered in my previous blog post on the psalms, please use the links below.

But what do you do when you believe that God is your refuge, but it looks like God is not doing anything? I felt like that, like a hostage, for a long time, I mentioned the accident and depression in the previous blog post on Psalm 42, but I had to find out that no matter what circumstances I found myself in that God was already there waiting for me. God was not somewhere I needed to get to before God could be praised, God was there to be found where I was.

The overall arc to this second book of psalms is that God goes before us. Even in our darkest time God is already there before us waiting for us in love. Life isn’t fair, but God is love.


< Psalm 42 | Psalm 43 | Psalm 44 >
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