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Psalm 44

National Lament and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil.

1

We have heard with our ears, O God,

our ancestors have told us,

what deeds you performed in their days,

in the days of old:

2

you with your own hand drove out the nations,

but them you planted;

you afflicted the peoples,

but them you set free;

3

for not by their own sword did they win the land,

nor did their own arm give them victory;

but your right hand, and your arm,

and the light of your countenance,

for you delighted in them.

 

4

You are my King and my God;

you command victories for Jacob.

5

Through you we push down our foes;

through your name we tread down our assailants.

6

For not in my bow do I trust,

nor can my sword save me.

7

But you have saved us from our foes,

and have put to confusion those who hate us.

8

In God we have boasted continually,

and we will give thanks to your name forever.Selah

 

9

Yet you have rejected us and abased us,

and have not gone out with our armies.

10

You made us turn back from the foe,

and our enemies have gotten spoil.

11

You have made us like sheep for slaughter,

and have scattered us among the nations.

12

You have sold your people for a trifle,

demanding no high price for them.

 

13

You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,

the derision and scorn of those around us.

14

You have made us a byword among the nations,

a laughingstock among the peoples.

15

All day long my disgrace is before me,

and shame has covered my face

16

at the words of the taunters and revilers,

at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

 

17

All this has come upon us,

yet we have not forgotten you,

or been false to your covenant.

18

Our heart has not turned back,

nor have our steps departed from your way,

19

yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,

and covered us with deep darkness.

 

20

If we had forgotten the name of our God,

or spread out our hands to a strange god,

21

would not God discover this?

For he knows the secrets of the heart.

22

Because of you we are being killed all day long,

and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

23

Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?

Awake, do not cast us off forever!

24

Why do you hide your face?

Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

25

For we sink down to the dust;

our bodies cling to the ground.

26

Rise up, come to our help.

Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.


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Verses 1–8

Former experiences of God's power and goodness are strong supports to faith, and powerful pleas in prayer under present calamities. The many victories Israel obtained, were not by their own strength or merit, but by God's favour and free grace. The less praise this allows us, the more comfort it affords, that we may see all as coming from the favour of God. He fought for Israel, else they had fought in vain. This is applicable to the planting of the Christian church in the world, which was not by any human policy or power. Christ, by his Spirit, went forth conquering and to conquer; and he that planted a church for himself in the world, will support it by the same power and goodness. They trusted and triumphed in and through him. Let him that glories, glory in the Lord. But if they have the comfort of his name, let them give unto him the glory due unto it.

Verses 9–16

The believer must have times of temptation, affliction, and discouragement; the church must have seasons of persecution. At such times the people of God will be ready to fear that he has cast them off, and that his name and truth will be dishonoured. But they should look above the instruments of their trouble, to God, well knowing that their worst enemies have no power against them, but what is permitted from above.

Verses 17–26

In afflictions, we must not seek relief by any sinful compliance; but should continually meditate on the truth, purity, and knowledge of our heart-searching God. Hearts sins and secret sins are known to God, and must be reckoned for. He knows the secret of the heart, therefore judges of the words and actions. While our troubles do not drive us from our duty to God, we should not suffer them to drive us from our comfort in God. Let us take care that prosperity and ease do not render us careless and lukewarm. The church of God cannot be prevailed on by persecution to forget God; the believer's heart does not turn back from God. The Spirit of prophecy had reference to those who suffered unto death, for the testimony of Christ. Observe the pleas used, ver. #(25, 26). Not their own merit and righteousness, but the poor sinner's pleas. None that belong to Christ shall be cast off, but every one of them shall be saved, and that for ever. The mercy of God, purchased, promised, and constantly flowing forth, and offered to believers, does away every doubt arising from our sins; while we pray in faith, Redeem us for thy mercies' sake.




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