Sunday, September 9

Psalms Sunday - Psalm 44

Today we are reading Psalm 44. This is a long and tough Psalm today!

Psalm 44
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation[a] of the sons of Korah.
1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
Our fathers have told us,
The deeds You did in their days,
In days of old:
2 You drove out the nations with Your hand,
But them You planted;
You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out.
3 For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,
Nor did their own arm save them;
But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance,
Because You favored them.

4 You are my King, O God;[b]
Command[c] victories for Jacob.
5 Through You we will push down our enemies;
Through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor shall my sword save me.
7 But You have saved us from our enemies,
And have put to shame those who hated us.
8 In God we boast all day long,
And praise Your name forever. Selah

9 But You have cast us off and put us to shame,
And You do not go out with our armies.
10 You make us turn back from the enemy,
And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.
11 You have given us up like sheep intended for food,
And have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sell Your people for next to nothing,
And are not enriched by selling them.

13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
A scorn and a derision to those all around us.
14 You make us a byword among the nations,
A shaking of the head among the peoples.
15 My dishonor is continually before me,
And the shame of my face has covered me,
16 Because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles,
Because of the enemy and the avenger.

17 All this has come upon us;
But we have not forgotten You,
Nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
Nor have our steps departed from Your way;
19 But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals,
And covered us with the shadow of death.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
21 Would not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord?
Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
24 Why do You hide Your face,
And forget our affliction and our oppression?
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
Our body clings to the ground.
26 Arise for our help,
And redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.

Okay, so let's dig in, shall we.
It starts off on a good note. The first several verses talk about the passing on of the stories of God from generation to generation. I think this is so important, especially as a mother, that I do not leave the Bible lessons to my church, but that I make it a point to share the Word of God with my children.

The next section that caught my attention, is verse 6 "For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me." The psalmist knows that he can not trust in himself. He needs God to help him on a day to day basis. I think this is something we all have to remind ourselves of over and over again. We sometimes don't realize how much we need God and how we really can't do it all on our own strength.

The Psalm then gets very discouraging. The psalmist shows that during this time, it doesn't seem that God is giving His support. There is a lot of turmoil and defeat. Many seem to have the attitude of where is God. Why are all of these horrible things happening? Why me? Why us? Why are we being sent out like sheep for a slaughter?

But through it all, the Psalmist knows that God is still there. "We have not forgotten you. Our heart has not turned back."
Sometimes hard things will happen in the life of a believer, and they will question God and actually turn away from Him. Maybe they can't hear Him. Maybe they have called to Him for help and it hasn't come. They stop waiting. They stop believing. They stop caring. But this Psalmist believes that God will help him. He knows that God is there and he continues to cry out to Him. He doesn't turn away from Him.
He knows where his help comes from. And even if it doesn't come when he needs it to, he will not turn away.