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Psalm 44

June 4, 2009

The psalmist expresses his confusion. Things are not as they should be. So he comes before the Lord to appeal, to appeal to God’s unfailing love.

In the first section, verses 1-8, the psalmist remembers what has been told him for generations, that God led Israel into the Promised Land and that God removed their enemies [see my notes on Deut. 7-9]. The psalmist rightly gives God the credit. Israel followed the Lord into the land and drove out the various tribes and nations because God was in the lead and was sovereign over Israel’s possessing of the land. In fact the psalmist gives God credit for all their military victories over their enemies. Israel is the people of God, the God who loves them, and they will continue to boast about God’s great power and to praise His Name.

But the psalmist is troubled because they have had to retreat from an enemy army. He believes God has rejected Israel and, therefore, Israel is no longer respected by other nations and/or their neighbors. Israel is experiencing disgrace and shame. They are no longer on the “mountain top”. They have been humbled. Such would be expected if they had forsaken God [Deut. 9] but Israel has remained faithful to God according to the psalmist. Their defeat at the hands of their enemy doesn’t make sense.

Beginning with verse 23 the psalmist brings his request before God asking God to “wake up”; to “rise up” and help them because God is faithful and because God loves them.

As people of God we must be realistic. Not everything we set out to do will be easy or successful. When defeat comes it is proper to examine our hearts before the Lord and determine if the result is because of our will [sin and disobedience] or His Will. Regardless of what has happened we must remember, like the psalmist, that God is faithful and blesses those he loves, those who obey Him, and who do not forget Him or stray from Him. Don’t let small set backs detour you from obeying God. The psalmist is correct in recognizing God’s involvement in their past victories and calling on God for help because He still loves them. Let’s follow this example too.

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