why and where
Psalm 42:9-10 (JDV)
Psalm 42:9 I will say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk around in darkness because of the enemy’s oppression?”
Psalm 42:10 My rivals  taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they are saying to me, “Where is your God?”
why and where
The psalmist remembers times when he felt the Lord’s presence – times when everything was just right. But those times seem to have receded into the background of the past. All he sees now is his problems. He wakes in the middle of the night and cannot sleep because a new problem presents itself which does not have the resources to solve.
And all the while he wonders if he will ever get back to where he was. God seems to have forgotten him, and his rivals keep pointing that out, so it is hard for him to ignore it.
The “why” question is a guilt producer. The assumption behind the question is that there is something I have done that has changed my relationship with God.
The answer to the “why” question is that our God is faithful to his children. He will never leave us or forsake us.
The “where” question builds upon that guilt. The assumption behind it is that if I can only go somewhere else, do something else, or get back to where I once was then my problems would be solved.
The answer to the “where” question is that our God is faithful to his children. He will never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes we leave him, and we need to return to him in repentance and faith. Other times, we go through tough times to refine us, and God is always present with us in those times, like a potter shaping the clay.
Lord, help us to work through the “why” and “where” questions, and emerge with a confident, mature trust in you.
1צָרָר = rival. Psalm 42:10; 69:19.