Psalm 44, Part 2 of 2
9 But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies.
10 You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us.
11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale.
13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us.
15 My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
17 All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. 19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals and covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 21 would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?
22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?
25 We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.
Two weeks ago we talked finding our faith for the future in past deliverances by the Lord. That’s important to remember as we finish this Psalm tonight.
Verse 9-16: The Pain of Failure
The problem is serious: if God had promised them this land (which He had) then why was He allowing these idolatrous nations to defeat them in battle.
For Israel, war for the Promised Land was an act of worship so their loss in battle was a rejection by God Himself.
Israel knew the Lord—Yahweh, as a warrior. He was the invisible One who went before them and allowed them to conquer the people and subdue the land.
They cry out in pain to the Lord. They feel consumed by their enemies. They are mocked, disgraced, scorned and ridiculed.
Have you ever felt that way?
Here’s the interesting part, though. They didn’t get bitter. Instead, the humiliation was taken as a call to pray to the Lord.
Verses 17-26: The Plan of the Future
Normally when Israel was defeated in battle, it was a result of sin. The Psalmist indicates that this is apparently not the case.
Yet the truth is the same: they had been disgraced. God had, from their perspective, “let them down”. How could the “Mighty Warrior of Israel” possible show Himself faithful to Who He is with crippling defeat?!
Hear this: What looks like defeat often turns out as a glorious victory for the Lord and us.
Like Stephen in the NT when he was stoned, Israel’s defeat and their call to prayer served as a witness to those same pagan nations of how God’s people handle defeat. Stephen’s defeat greatly impacted Saul of Tarsus and serves as a monument of steadfast faith today!
Let me tell you a great and profound truth: your life in Christ does not guarantee that you will always be the fastest, best, prettiest, most handsome, most successful, rich or number 1. What it does guarantee you is found in Romans 8:28–that God will work all things for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.
No matter how their lives may end, God’s servants never die like mere animals, for “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalms 116:15, nkjv).