Psalm 42; John 4:11

: New Year, new series. Week one, Going Deeper!


Let me start with Psalm 42 and especially verse 7, which states, ‘deep calls to deep.’ What does that mean?


Because of their shared vocabulary, themes, and refrain, Psalms 42-43 are a unit.


They open a collection attributed to the Korahites (Psalms 42-49; 84-85; 87-88).

(Korahites. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Korahites in the Bible were that portion of the Kohathites that descended from the Sons of Korah. They were an important branch of the singers of the Kohathite division (2 Chronicles 20:19). The Sons of Korah were the sons of Moses’ cousin Korah)


Application: While Psalms 42-43 appear to be the prayer of an individual, the rest of the collection has a communal character.


Transition: What starts this/these Psalms?


The opening verses articulate the psalmist’s need for God with the image of thirst!


The opening refrain has two conjoined occurrences of the word’s ‘soul’ (v.1b, 2a) and ‘thirsts for God.’




Now hold on to that for a moment and turn to John chapter 4.


Verse 11, ‘The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep? Where then do you get that living water?’


Verse 15, ‘The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water that I might not thirst, nor come here to draw’.


The woman at the well needed and confessed that she needed something more or (can I put it this way) deeper than what was currently available / possible!


Question: How many of us need a drink of something more substantial than what we have currently? It’s not that you’ve never had it…but you want/need it again!


This woman was in shambles! A prophetic word came to her from the Savior / Prophet Jesus and she recognized it’s value and worth!


——————————————————    Ok, back to Psalm 42


BOOM: Thirst is not just a desire, for the human body cannot live without water.


For the psalmist, God is a necessity of life.


Psalm 2b begins to suggest that the Psalmist is exiled or at least is prevented from making a pilgrimage to the Temple to ‘behold the face of God’.


More symbolically, the psalmist desires a communion with God that is not currently available.


Application (Silly albeit): Ever been away from somewhere that doesn’t have say, your favorite food/restaurant? Ever been to a foreign country and the food is just, well, not good? The whole time your thinking, I can’t wait to get a double-double from In-N-Out!


The mention of ‘the face of God’ (v.2), and ‘food/bread’ (v.3) reinforces the conclusion that the desire for communion with God is what was wanted/needed/being sought after!


The desire to visit the Temple was expressly desired because it contained, according to Exodus 25:30; 1 Sam. 21:6; I Kgs 7:48; the ‘bread of the face’ (or the ‘bread of the presence’


The grief of absence has been made worse by the question of others, ‘Where is your God?’ (v.3, 10 also Pss 79:10; 115:2; Joel 2:17; Mic 7:10)


‘When we cannot get relief for our burdened spirits by pleading with ourselves, we should try what we can do by praying to God and leaving our case with him. We cannot still these winds and waves; but we know who can’. (Matthew Henry)

7, “Deep calls unto deep, one affliction comes upon the neck of another, as if it were called to hasten after it; and thy water-spouts give the signal and sound the alarm of war.” It may be meant of the terror and disquietude of his mind under the apprehensions of God’s anger. One frightful thought summoned another, and made way for it, as is usual in melancholy people. He was overpowered and overwhelmed with a deluge of grief, like that of the old world, when the windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the great deep were broken up. Or it is an allusion to a ship at sea in a great storm, tossed by the roaring waves, which go over it’. (Matthew Henry)


Transition: If you remember from last week’s message, Tis the Season of Understand the Journey,’ I talked about all that our Christian journey entails…


Let me once again tie Psalm 42 with John 4 for both the psalm and the woman at the well are basically in the same boat asking for the same thing…pursuing/attaining when things (God’s help/favor/blessing, etc…) when that seems to deep to obtain.


Transition/Interrogative: How can we go deeper with God?

7 Keys to go Deeper with God

(taken from

  1. ‘Stay thirsty my friend!’ – Jesus said, those who hunger, and thirst will be filled.
  2. Recognize your place / role / purpose!
  3. Arm yourself with truth of God’s Word. – ‘Our inner life must be governed by the Word of God’.
  4. Releasing or plans ‘Pouring your life out for His Kingdom’ to God’s purposes and will.
  5. Pursue/Embrace the fruits of the spirit at every opportunity, ‘Maintaining inner joy and peace.’
  6. Grow in Wisdom – ‘Learn from your mistakes and turn your experience into a wealth of knowledge’.
  7. Take your Daily Vitamins – ‘Daily Spiritual Upkeep’. – ‘Our spiritual battle is won in the day to day upkeep of our spiritual vitality Do something to feed your soul daily. The spirit is nourished the most through prayer, fasting and the reading of God’s word. We feed our bodies daily, our spirits need to be cared for also!’


Conclusion: One of our desires in our ‘Let’s Go!’ new year thinking should be, ‘Let’s go Deeper!’


  • Love more
  • Pray more
  • Do more
  • Read more
  • Serve more
  • ‘Let’s BE more’