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44. Psalm 44

We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

2 How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

3For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

4Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

5Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

6For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

7But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

8In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

9But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.

10Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.

11Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.

12Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.

13Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.

14Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

15My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,

16For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

17All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.

18Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;

19Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

20If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;

21Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

22Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

23Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.

24Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?

25For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.

26Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.

25 For our soul is humbled to the dust The people of God again deplore the greatness of their calamities, and in order that God may be the more disposed to help them, they declare to him that they are afflicted in no ordinary manner. By the metaphors which they here employ, they mean not only that they are cast down, but also that they are crushed and laid upon the earth, so that they are not able to rise again. Some take the word soul for the body, so that there would be in this verse a repetition of the same sentiment; but I would rather take it for the part in which the life of man consists; as if they had said, We are cast down to the earth, and lie prostrate upon our belly, without any hope of getting up again. After this complaint they subjoin a prayer, (verse 26,) that God would arise for their help By the word redeem they mean not ordinary kind of help, for there was no other means of securing their preservation but by redeeming them. And yet there can be no doubt, that they were diligently employed in meditating upon the great redemption from which all the deliverances which God is daily effecting in our behalf, when he defends us from dangers by various means, flow as streams from their source. In a previous part of the psalm, they had boasted of the steadfastness of their faith; but to show us that, in using this language, they boasted not in their own merits, they do not claim here some recompense for what they had done and suffered for God. They are contented to ascribe their salvation to the unmerited goodness of God as the alone cause of it.

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