Psalm 44: I thought we were all right!
the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.
Comments: A strange psalm that recognises that God had
made Israel what they are [v.2,3] and had blessed them over their
enemies [v.4-8]. But now all that seems to have changed so they
are as nothing before their enemies [v.9-14]. Thus the psalmist
feels only shame [v.15,16]. He denies they have failed the Lord
[v.17-22] so wonders why they are like they are and simply cries
for the Lord's help [v.23-26]. In the light of Israel's history
it is a daring psalm! See end notes.]
1: v.1-8: God's triumphs for Israel
God's activities on Israel's behalf in the past are well known
have heard it with our ears, O God;
our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
in days long ago.
It was His power that gave them the Promised Land
your hand you drove out the nations
and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples
and made our ancestors flourish.
was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved
Testimony & Witness to what God has done
are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for Jacob.
you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever.
2: v.9-22: The Disgrace of Israel
All the things the Lord has now done
now you have rejected and humbled
you no longer go out with our armies.
made us retreat before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered
gave us up to be devoured like sheep
and have scattered us
among the nations.
sold your people for a pittance,
gaining nothing from their sale.
have made us a reproach to our neighbors
the scorn and derision of those around
have made us a byword among the nations;
the peoples shake their heads at us.
The outworkings of this in the present
live in disgrace all day long,
and my face is covered with shame
the taunts of those who reproach and revile me,
because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
What has happened to the Covenant between us?
this came upon us,
though we had not forgotten you;
we had not been false to your covenant.
hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
So why has all this happened to us?
you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
you covered us over with deep darkness.
we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
3: v.23-26: Cries for Help
A simple cry for help
Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do
not reject us forever.
do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?
That cry extended from being down in the dust
are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
and help us;
rescue us because of your unfailing love.
Thoughts: This psalm is perhaps reflected in the earlier
words of Gideon: if
the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are
all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said,
Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord
has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian. (Jud
6:13) One wonders if, when this psalm was sung, it would hit the
consciences of the singers and bring conviction of why they were
here in this state perhaps the same reason as given to Israel
in Gideon's day see Judg 6:10]
to Psa 45