1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
our ancestors have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
in the days of old:
2 you with your own hand drove out the nations,
but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
but them you set free;
3 for not by their own sword did they win the land,
nor did their own arm give them victory;
but your right hand, and your arm,
and the light of your countenance,
for you delighted in them.
4 You are my King and my God;
you command[a] victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we push down our foes;
through your name we tread down our assailants.
6 For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes,
and have put to confusion those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name for ever.Selah
9 Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
and have not gone out with our armies.
10 You made us turn back from the foe,
and our enemies have taken spoil for themselves.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
demanding no high price for them.
13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbours,
the derision and scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations,
a laughing-stock[b] 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,
yet we have not forgotten you,
or been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
nor have our steps departed from your way,
19 yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
and covered us with deep darkness.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
or spread out our hands to a strange god,
21 would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Because of you we are being killed all day long,
and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not cast us off for ever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we sink down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help.
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.
in Psalm 44 we are drawn to the context of a nation in a season of great defeat, calling for God´s help. There is a general thinking that the psalmist wrote the psalm during the period of exile, especially during the period of the Maccabees. However, there are also possibilities that it was written during the time of the monarchy. The context remains the time of suffering no matter what period it was written. The phrase ´we have turned our backs on our enemies´ gives us the picture of soldiers running away from their enemies which is a sign of defeat. The psalmist acknowledges that the success of Israel as a nation was because of the superior hand of God but now he is blaming God for not further protecting them. In his words, God is asleep and is demanding that he should wake up and help them. The psalmist just like an Israelite is aware of the retribution principle where good things are awarded while bad things receive punishment. This is the reason why he rushes to profess Israel´s innocence and finds no reason why they should suffer. They are two possibilities here, First, Israel might have committed a sin and hence they were facing consequences for their action. Second, maybe they did not commit any sin but they were tested for their faith. By blaming God they could have lost the test.
Takeaways for today;
- God remains faithful and blameless even in times of suffering.
- Suffering is not always a result of sin but it can be God´s test like what happened to Job.
- Difficult times happen in life but we should remain faithful to God and there is a purpose for everything in life