“For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. 1As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. 5Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed† within me? Put your hope in God,† for I will yet praise† him, my Savior and 6my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
This popular psalm of encouragement has cheered the hearts of the saints through many generations. I include myself in that population of believers who have had their souls stirred by these inspired words. There have been low points in life when mean nasty people or painful circumstances have clouded our view of eternity.
Then, this psalm fills our mind with a redirection to thirst after His presence in our lives. With His company we find a solace that salves the hunger and quenches our thirst. The deer that is in the image of the psalmist may very well be the Fallow Deer. It is indigenous to the Israel.
The Fallow Deer with its spotted, chocolate, black or white coat is a beautiful animal. It can run at spurts of speed up to 30 mph. Striking palmated antlers are sported by the bucks of the herd. Think of this deer when this psalm crosses into your mind.
photo credit: brucefong photography