Psalm 44

44:0We do not know who wrote Psalm 44. We do not know when they wrote it. When we read the psalm, two things are clear:

– Someone had hurt the Jews

– The Jews had done nothing wrong.

We do not know when this happened. Perhaps it was when David was king, or up to 500 years after.

God Help Us!

This is a maskil.

It is for the music leader of the sons of Korah.

1 God, we have heard it for ourselves.

Our fathers told it to us.

They told us what you did for them a long time ago.

2 Your hand pushed out the people that lived in the land

and put our fathers in.

You broke our enemies but gave help to our fathers.

3 Our fathers did not get the land by their own swords.

Their own power did not win the fight. It was you and

· your right hand

· your arm

· the light on your face

that did it because you were their friend.

4 You are my king. You are my God.

You are the one that said that Jacob must win.

5 Because of you, we pushed back our enemies.

Because of your name, we beat those that fought us.

6 I do not believe that my bow gave me help.

I do not think that my sword won the fight.

7 This is because you give us help to beat our enemies.

You make the people that hate us ashamed.

8 We praise God all day long.

We will always praise your name.

SELAH

44:8Verses 1-8 tell us what God did for the Jews when they came into their country. It was not the Jews that won the land for them, but God. His hand (verses 2 and 3) and his arm (verse 3) mean ‘what God did.’ (Some Christians say that God's hand is ‘the Holy Spirit’ and his arm is Jesus.) The ‘light on your face’ (verse 3) means ‘the good way that God looked at people so that he did good things for them.’ The enemies of the Jews were the people that lived in the land before they did.

9 But now you have turned away from us.

You have made us ashamed.

You do not go out with our armies.

10 You make us run away from an enemy.

Those people that hate us take what they like from us!

11 You make us like sheep so that people can eat us!

You have thrown us into other countries.

12 You are selling your people and the price is cheap.

You have sold them and not got anything for it!

13 You have made us into something that our neighbours laugh at.

Everyone round us laughs at us and scorns us.

14 We are as nothing among the nations!

Everybody is sorry for us.

15 I am ashamed all day long.

I do not know where to look.

16 This is because of:

· the bad things that people say about me

· the people that do bad things to me

· the people that are my enemies

· the people that are happy because they hurt me.

17 All this happened to us, but we did not forget you.

We did not forget our covenant with you.

18 Our hearts did not turn away,

nor did our feet turn from your path.

19 But you broke us where the wild animals are.

You covered us with great darkness.

20 If we had

· forgotten the name of our God, or

· lifted up our hands to a foreign god

21 would God not have discovered it?

He knows the secrets of people's hearts.

22 Yet because of you, people kill us all day long.

They think that we are like sheep ready for people to kill.

44:22In verses 9 to 22 we read that something bad has happened.

The Jews had done nothing wrong, but their enemies had done bad things to them. This often happens to Christian people. Why does God let it happen? He does it to make his people strong. Sheep were animals that people killed for the meat. ‘Thrown us into other countries’ means ‘put us in countries where we did not live before.’ The covenant in verse 17 is what God agreed to do if his people obeyed him. Here, in verses 17-22, the people are saying that they kept their part of the covenant, but God did not keep his. In other words, they obeyed God, but he did not care for them. We often feel like this. When it happens we must remember that:

– God lets it happen to make us strong

– We must go on believing in God.

It happened to Jesus, and we must be like him!

23 Lord, awake! Why are you asleep?

Get up! Do not throw us away for ever!

24 Why do you hide your face from us?

Why do you forget our trouble

and the way that people hurt us?

25 We have fallen down to the earth.

Our bodies are on the ground.

26 Wake up and give us help!

Save us, because of your kind love.

44:26In verses 23-26 the person that wrote the psalm prays. He (or she) asks God to wake up and send help! Whatever happens, we must always ask God to send help!