Psalms 44

Listen to Psalms 44
1 O God, we have heard with our ears, 1our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, 2in the days of old:
2 you with your own hand 3drove out the nations, but 4them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, but 5them you set free;
3 for not 6by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and 7the light of your face, 8for you delighted in them.
4 9You are my King, O God; 10ordain salvation for Jacob!
5 Through you we 11push down our foes; through your name we 12tread down those who rise up against us.
6 For not in 13my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes and have 14put to shame those who hate us.
8 15In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah
9 But you have 16rejected us and disgraced us and 17have not gone out with our armies.
10 You have made us 18turn back from the foe, and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
11 You have made us like 19sheep for slaughter and have 20scattered us among the nations.
12 21You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them.
13 You have made us 22the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and 23scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us 24a byword among the nations, 25a laughingstock[a] among the peoples.
15 All day long my disgrace is before me, and 26shame has covered my face
16 at the sound of the taunter and reviler, at the sight of 27the enemy and the avenger.
17 28All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back, nor have our 29steps 30departed from your way;
19 yet you have 31broken us in the place of 32jackals and covered us with 33the shadow of death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or 34spread out our hands to 35a foreign god,
21 36would not God discover this? 37For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Yet 38for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 39Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! 40Do not reject us forever!
24 Why 41do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For our 42soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.
26 Rise up; 43come to our help! 44Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

Psalms 44 Commentary

Chapter 44

A petition for succour and relief.

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 ( psalms 44:25-26 ) 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.

Cross References 44

  • 1. Psalms 78:3; Exodus 10:2; Exodus 12:26, 27; Exodus 13:8, 14, 15; Judges 6:13; See Deuteronomy 6:20-23
  • 2. See Psalms 77:5
  • 3. Psalms 78:55; Psalms 80:8; Joshua 3:10
  • 4. Exodus 15:17; 2 Samuel 7:10
  • 5. Psalms 80:9-11; [Jeremiah 17:8]
  • 6. Joshua 24:12; Hosea 1:7
  • 7. See Psalms 4:6
  • 8. Deuteronomy 4:37; Deuteronomy 7:7, 8; Deuteronomy 10:15
  • 9. Psalms 74:12
  • 10. See Psalms 42:8
  • 11. [Deuteronomy 33:17; Daniel 8:4]
  • 12. Psalms 60:12
  • 13. [Psalms 33:16; 1 Samuel 17:47]
  • 14. See Psalms 35:4
  • 15. See Psalms 34:2
  • 16. ver. 23; Psalms 43:2; Psalms 60:1, 10; Psalms 74:1; Psalms 108:11; See Psalms 89:38-45
  • 17. [Judges 4:14; 2 Samuel 5:24]
  • 18. Leviticus 26:17; Deuteronomy 28:25; Joshua 7:8, 12
  • 19. [ver. 22]
  • 20. Psalms 106:27; Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 4:27; Deuteronomy 28:64; Isaiah 52:3; Ezekiel 20:23; [John 7:35; 1 Peter 1:1]
  • 21. [Deuteronomy 32:30; Judges 2:14; Judges 3:8; Jeremiah 15:13]
  • 22. Psalms 39:8; Psalms 79:4; Psalms 89:41; Psalms 119:22; [Nehemiah 2:17]
  • 23. [Psalms 80:6]
  • 24. Jeremiah 24:9; See Job 17:6
  • 25. See Job 16:4
  • 26. 2 Chronicles 32:21
  • 27. Psalms 8:2
  • 28. Daniel 9:13
  • 29. Psalms 37:31
  • 30. Psalms 119:51, 157; Job 23:11
  • 31. Psalms 51:8
  • 32. See Job 30:29
  • 33. See Job 3:5
  • 34. Psalms 68:31; Job 11:13
  • 35. See Psalms 81:9
  • 36. Psalms 139:1; Jeremiah 17:10
  • 37. [John 2:25; Hebrews 4:13]
  • 38. ver. 11; Cited Romans 8:36
  • 39. See Psalms 35:23
  • 40. ver. 9
  • 41. See Job 13:24
  • 42. Psalms 119:25
  • 43. Psalms 63:7
  • 44. See Psalms 25:22

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew a shaking of the head

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil. It is not certain who was the writer of this psalm, nor when it was written, and to what time it belongs: some have thought it was composed by one of the Babylonish captivity, and that it gives an account of the church and people of God in those times; but what is said in Psalm 44:17 does not seem to agree with Daniel 9:5. It is most likely it was written by David, and to him the Targum ascribes it; though it does not respect his times; since what is said in Psalm 44:9 cannot agree with them; yet he being a prophet might, under a prophetic influence, speak of future times, and represent the church in them. Some are of opinion that he prophetically speaks of the times of the Maccabees and of Antiochus, when the church and people of God suffered much for the true religion, and abode steadfast in it; so Theodoret: but rather the whole may be applied to the times of the New Testament, since Psalm 44:22 is cited by the Apostle Paul, Romans 8:36, and is applied to his times, and as descriptive of the suffering state and condition of the church then; and which seems to be the guide and key for the opening of the whole psalm.

Psalms 44 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.