Meditations on the Psalms #96

Day 96

Psalm 44 part 2

Read V5 – who is the current enemy? Where is ‘the shadow of death today’ (V19)

read v6 and add “neither shall my works justify me.”

The Apostle Paul quoted Ps44:22 in Romans8:35-36. The sense is that even in such terrible defeat and disgrace, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ or change our destiny as being more than conquerors in Him. Thus we are reminded of the fact that those who are the people of God are called upon to endure suffering for which there is no explanation at the time, and certainly not a result of disloyalty. Such sufferings are part of the high and holy privilege of fellowship with God in a fallen world.

One of the ministries of suffering is to drive us to prayer (Heb4:15). Deity makes a difference in a difficulty. Better any sorrow with Him than every joy without Him. The psalmist had the depth of relationship with God to speak v23 freely, and God had the love and grace to not only hear it, but also to record such a prayer in His word. The psalmist openly spoke his feeling that God had forsaken and forgotten a faithful Israel. He did not actually believe that God was asleep, but it felt to him so. This feeling or sense was powerfully captured when Jesus slept in the boat on the stormy Sea of Galilee. The disciples feared they would perish and cried out for Jesus to awake. Although the picture of the sleeping Lord in v23 may seem naïve to us, it was acted out in the NT in the life of Jesus and His disciples.

The psalmist has stated Israel’s problem as clearly and strongly as possible in v26. We might expect him to be angry with God or to lose hope. Instead, the psalm leaves him with trusting God even in his pain and disappointment. He made his final appeal NOT on the basis of what Israel deserved, but for the sake of God’s covenant (chesed) unfailing love (RSV).

The final verse is a short, but sweet and comprehensive prayer, much to the point, clear, simple, urgent, as all prayers should be. Note this psalms magnificent last word.

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