Vs. 1-5 picture the despair of captivity and not worshiping God;
Vs. 6-11 state the confidence to “Hope in God.”
Verses 1-5: As a deer must have water, so a soul must have God, and the soul’s question is: “When shall I come and appear before God?” The soul’s frustration produces tears when people keep challenging: “Where is your God?” (verses 3, 10). Today, a Christian is assured: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35) It is sad, indeed, when people quit going to church: “For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.” This verse may indicate this was written during the 70 year exile of the people of God from their “Promised Land” (Jeremiah 25:8-14). They were returned as recorded in Ezra 1:1-8; 6:1-15; Nehemiah 9:29-38). No matter what conditions exist, one must “Hope in God” (verses 5, 11), and worship Him.
Verses 6-11: The soul was “cast down” by remembering the Holy City, Jerusalem, and why they had lost it. God was not defeated, but His people had let Him down by sinning.
Verse 7 appeals to God as Jonah had (Jonah 2:3-5), deeply realizing his sin. Whether in daytime or night, the Psalmist will pray (verse 8), asking God “have I been forgotten since enemies seem to prevail over me?” (verse 9) This indicates the Psalmist’s soul is sensitive to his sins and is concerned that God may not hear and respond because of those sins. The taunt of the enemies (“Where is your God?”) is as hurtful as if they broke his bones! Where is God when enemies temporarily prevail over God’s elect? Those who ask such a question are ignorant of what God does and has done (Jeremiah 2:4-8; 3 John 12). “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9). “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). In trials and troubles, it is our faith being challenged, not God’s position. “Where is God” is not the issue, but “where are you enemies in relation to God?” Verse 11 finishes with the calm faith that God notices of our praise of Him
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.