The immediate past. The second part of this opening section recalls victories in the immediate past, acknowledging, as in the preceding section, that they were achieved not by any strength or virtue of the people, but by God. In this stanza the subject of the sentences becomes singular ("my" and "I"), rather than plural ("we,” “us” and "our") as in stanza one. This does not mean that we suddenly have another speaker at this point, as if this were a liturgical exchange between a priest and the people, as some scholars like to think.

A person would never expect this psalm to be a lament from reading the beginning stanzas. This is because it begins with a remembrance of God's past acts of deliverance (vv. 1-8), and these by their very nature are both positive and grounds for thanksgiving. At this point we would expect the psalm to be a thanksgiving psalm, a praise psalm, or a psalm of confidence. These remembrances are mature remembrances too, in the sense that the author and his contemporaries know that Israel's past military victories had not been achieved by their own exceptional might or skill, but by the power of God.

“God never sleeps,” wrote the Scottish commentator Murdoch Campbell in his opening observation on this psalm.1 Maybe not, but he seems to, at least at times. He seems to be sleeping when his people cry out to him in their troubles.

He challenges himself to do what should be done. The second step in the battle against depression follows from the act of addressing oneself in this manner. Indeed, it is a part of it. It is to challenge oneself to do what the spiritual self well knows should be done: "Put your hope in God." There can be no lasting hope in anything else in this sinful, failing world. There never has been. There never will be. Besides, the believer has put his or her trust in God in past days. He can do so again. It is a mark of simple sanity to do what the psalmist urges should be done.

Attacks from ungodly, deceitful and wicked persons (43:1). The second of these two psalms brings in another cause of depression. It is attacks by unscrupulous and deceitful enemies. These are probably the same persons who taunted the psalmist earlier, asking, "Where is your God?" But in this section we learn that they had also been attacking him unjustly, since he prays for vindication and a pleading of his cause by God. Most of us can relate to this too, since it is not unusual for those who try to live for God to be unjustly accused, attacked and slandered. Jesus said, "You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.... If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also" (John 15:19, 20). It is an unusual person who will not be depressed by malicious and hurtful treatment, at least at times.