The tokens of God’s displeasure are more grievous to those who have been long accustomed to the tokens of His favor,
but the remembrance of His former goodness should be a cause of heart searching and a support to faith.
1 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.
3 For 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.
4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.
5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.
7 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.
8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
9 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.
11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.
12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.
13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
15 My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,
16 For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.
17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.
18 Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;
19 Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.
20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;
21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.
22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.
26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 44:1-8 – Courage from Former Deliverances
This psalm, like Psalm 60, came out of one of the early wars in David’s reign, as described in II Samuel 8:13-14. Some refer it to II Chronicles 20. It befits the Church when her former prosperous state contrasts sadly with her depressed and suffering condition.
It is a great argument in prayer when we can quote to God the mighty things of the past, and ask that He should do the same again. The great revivals and advances of the past were not achieved by human wisdom or might, but by faith. It is always God’s right hand and the light of His countenance that win the land in possession; but why should He not command similar deliverances again! And what is true of the Church is equally true of the individual. Why not lift thy heart to God, O defeated soul, and claim that He should command victories for thee? Psalm 44:2. Make thy boast in God and thou wilt have reason to give thanks unto Him forever! But before we can claim God’s deliverances, we must be able to say, Thou art my King, Psalm 44:4. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 44:4—Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances.
Before a man can say that God is his King, he must have very definitely consecrated himself to God. The relation of too many believers to Christ falls short of this supreme act of the soul; and in consequence their lives lack directness, power, victory over temptation. My reader, thou hast been sorely tried by overmastering temptations before which thy resolutions have been swept as children’s sand-heaps by the tide. Wilt thou quietly consider whether from the very depth of thy being thou hast ever said to God, Thou art my King. The kingship of Jesus is always associated with victory; and just as soon as his supremacy is acknowledged, He will begin to command deliverance and victory.
Behold, thy King cometh to thee, having salvation. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and the King of Glory shall come in; but He is also the merciful Savior. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior. It is always Prince first. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, thou shalt be saved.
What a battle-shout this is! Whenever temptation is near; when the foe seems about to take the citadel by assault; when heart and flesh quail before the noise of battle—then to look up to the living Christ, and say, Thou art my King, O Son of God: command victory! There is no devil in hell but would flee before that cry of the tempted and tried believer; and God could not be neglectful of such an appeal. Jacob is only a worm; yet even he is more than a conqueror when God fights for him. It is thus that Jacob Behmen begins one of his letters: “May the Overcomer, Jesus Christ, through Himself, over come in as all his enemies.” —Our Daily Homily
Psalm 44:9-26 – A Plea for Present Help
In Psalm 44:11 God’s people are compared to sheep appointed for meat, which are sold by the shepherd for naught, so worthless are they. Before their savage foes sheep are defenseless and unresisting. Their bitter lot is aggravated by their fear lest the shepherd has forgotten them. The reference in Psalm 44:19 to jackals suggests the further picture of a harried and panting flock. It is hardly to be wondered at that God’s tender mercies seemed withdrawn from his people!
But notice how the Apostle Paul uses these words in Romans 8:36. He does not complain of forsakenness, nor appeal for help. On the contrary, he declares that in all these things we are more than conquerors, and that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. This is the lesson of the New Testament—that we conquer when we are defeated; overcome when we are slain; are strongest when we are beaten to the dust; and ascend to the throne only when we fie in the grave where Jesus, our Master, lay! John 12:24; II Corinthians 13:3, 4. —Through the Bible Day by Day