PSALM 44 - Refining Fire 15 Dec 2019
Would God ever abandon his beloved nation Israel? The psalm claims so. It is even claimed that Israel is without guilt. Perhaps the psalmist speaks about the offering service in the temple. As far as it depends on me, I do not understand the psalm as a whole.
God acts as pleases himself
Yes God is souvereign. He owes me nothing. He can do with me as pleases Him. My life belongs to him. This I know: God loves me. And perhaps that is what the psalmist claims: God loves Israel, now and forever.
Perhaps those whom God loves, are in a refining fire.
1 [For the choirmaster Of the sons of Korah Poem]
God, we have heard for ourselves,
our ancestors have told us,
of the deeds you did in their days,
in days of old, 2 by your hand.
To establish them in the land you drove out nations,
to make room for them you harried peoples.
3 It was not their own sword that won the land,
nor their own arms which made them victorious,
but your hand it was and your arm,
and the light of your presence,
for you loved them.
4 You are my king, my God,
who decreed Jacob's victories;
5 through you we conquered our opponents,
in your name we trampled down
those who rose up against us.
6 For my trust was not in my bow,
my victory was not won by my sword;
7 it was you who saved us from our opponents,
you who put to shame those who hate us.
8 Our boast was always of God,
we praised your name without ceasing. Pause
9 Yet now you have abandoned and humiliated us,
you no longer take the field with our armies,
10 you leave us to fall back before the enemy,
those who hate us plunder us at will.
11 You hand us over like sheep for slaughter,
you scatter us among the nations,
12 you sell your people for a trifle
and make no profit on the sale.
13 You make us the butt of our neighbours,
the mockery and scorn of those around us,
14 you make us a by-word among nations,
other peoples shake their heads over us.
15 All day long I brood on my disgrace,
the shame written clear on my face,
16 from the sound of insult and abuse,
from the sight of hatred and vengefulness.
17 All this has befallen us though we had not forgotten you,
nor been disloyal to your covenant,
18 our hearts never turning away,
our feet never straying from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the place where jackals live,
and immersed us in shadow dark as death.
20 Had we forgotten the name of our God
and stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God have found this out,
for he knows the secrets of the heart?
22 For your sake we are being massacred all day long,
treated as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 Wake, Lord! Why are you asleep?
Awake! Do not abandon us for good.
24 Why do you turn your face away,
forgetting that we are poor and harrassed?
25 For we are bowed down to the dust,
and lie prone on the ground.
26 Arise! Come to our help!
Ransom us, as your faithful love demands.
Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.
The nation of Israel abandoned?