Psalms 44

Listen to Psalms 44
1 O God, we have heard it with our own ears— our ancestors have told us of all you did in their day, in days long ago:
2 You drove out the pagan nations by your power and gave all the land to our ancestors. You crushed their enemies and set our ancestors free.
3 They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them.
4 You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel.
5 Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.
6 I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me.
7 You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.
8 O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name. Interlude
9 But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor. You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10 You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11 You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance, making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us. We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes; they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. All we see are our vengeful enemies.
17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you. We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home. You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.
23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust, lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing 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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 44 Commentaries

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.