42:1 Our inner longing for fellowship with God can be compared to the vehement craving of the deer as it wanders through the parched countryside, its sides throbbing and its breathing quickened as it longs for the brooks. Gamaliel Bradford transferred the picture to himself when he said:
My one unchanged ambition
Wheresoe’er my feet have trod
Is a keen, enormous, haunting,
Never-sated thirst for God.
42:1 — As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.
God’s highest priority for our lives is to develop an intimate and growing relationship with Him. He made us to thirst for Him as we thirst for water and to seek Him as we seek relief from a parched throat.
42:1 As the deer pants … my soul pants. On this simile from nature, cf. Joel 1:20. In the psalmist’s estimation, he is facing a severe divine drought.
42:1 As a deer longs for streams of water The psalmist’s desperation for God’s sustaining presence is like a thirst for water.
42:1 As a deer pants for flowing streams. A powerful description of deep desire for God’s presence.
 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 615). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ps 42:1). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 42:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 773). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.