Psalms 44

1 To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what deeds thou didst perform in their days, in the days of old:
2 thou with thy own hand didst drive out the nations, but them thou didst plant; thou didst afflict the peoples, but them thou didst set free;
3 for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm give them victory; but thy right hand, and thy arm, and the light of thy countenance; for thou didst delight in them.
4 Thou art my King and my God, who ordainest victories for Jacob.
5 Through thee we push down our foes; through thy name we tread down our assailants.
6 For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.
7 But thou hast saved us from our foes, and hast put to confusion those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to thy name for ever. [Selah]
9 Yet thou hast cast us off and abased us, and hast not gone out with our armies.
10 Thou hast made us turn back from the foe; and our enemies have gotten spoil.
11 Thou hast made us like sheep for slaughter, and hast scattered us among the nations.
12 Thou hast sold thy people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them.
13 Thou hast made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those about us.
14 Thou hast 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, though we have not forgotten thee, or been false to thy covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from thy way,
19 that thou shouldst have broken us in the place of jackals, and covered us with deep darkness.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God, or spread forth our hands to a strange god,
21 would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Nay, for thy sake we are slain all the day long, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Rouse thyself! Why sleepest thou, O Lord? Awake! Do not cast us off for ever!
24 Why dost thou hide thy face? Why dost thou forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our body cleaves to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help! Deliver us for the sake of thy 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.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 44 Commentaries

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.