Psalms 42:1 tells us, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (KJV)  I have heard this verse quoted often and even sung songs built around it.  I always had a picture in my mind of a still meadow with a brook and a deer standing calmly drinking.  Recently I looked deeper into the verse and discovered, to me at least, it means something different.

    Panting does not simply mean to be thirsty, it means to long for or cry out.  It gives the picture of a deer who is desperate for the water rather than calmly drinking; a deer to whom this water could be the difference between life and death.

    I also wondered why it says ‘water brooks’.  Shouldn’t it be obvious that the brook is water.  The Hebrew word translated water means just that, but the word for brook can also mean a strong thing or a hero.  This gives the picture of one that is drinking to receive strength that can be acquired no where else.  That is how our soul needs to pant for God, to receive that strength that can be received no where else.

Published by Ray Richards