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Psalm 44
A plea for help

Intro to Psalm 44

-Psalm 44 is a song
-Written by the sons of Korah (There's is a story that illustrates the amazing grace of God- from rebells (in the time of Moses and struck down by God in a supernatural way- the ground opened up and swallowed Korah and his followers) to honored worship leaders in the temple. See Numbers 16
-11 Psalms attributed to the sons of Korah
-Psalm 44 has 3 verses v.1-8 (praise), 9-22 (lament), 23-26 (a plea for help and deliverance)
-This Psalm, in context, concerns the nation of Israel - who at the time was undergoing great tribulation though they were being faithful to God. Herein the people in faith (seen in their remembrance of God's past deeds on their behalf) and in desperation they corporately direct their plea to God to come and rescue them. The touch points of this song and its theme are very close to the church and her experience of persecution
-While the Psalm has personal and individual applications we must first understand it corporately (as addressed to the community of saints)-- having this component in mind is very important to understanding our text


READ TEXT

LESSONS AND OBSERVATIONS OF THE TEXT

1. Psalm 44 serves as an excellent reminder to us to always read the whole of a text

If all we did was read v.1-8 we would conclude that Psalm 44 is a praise song celebrating the mighty works of God on behalf of His people.

While v.1-8 are indeed devoted to the praise of God- which is a good lesson for us- our reading of the rest of Psalm 44 reveals to us that the praises of v.1-8 serve as their basis for faith in God in a hard time and as the basis for their heartfelt appeal to God to come to their aid and rescue them.

We are not to cherry pick Bible texts! We are not to avoid certain passages of the Bible. All of God's word is inspired. All of God's Word is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

2. The proper interpretation of Psalm 44 hangs on v.17, and v.22 which says "All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant.

From this verse we are able to ascertain that the subject is that of suffering for righteousness sake. The nation of Israel is said to be suffering and being persecuted at the hands of her enemies - not for a sin that they committed but for righteousness sake.

3. Psalm 44's theme of suffering for righteousness sake immediately reminds us of Job and his sufferings

Job suffered- not because he had done evil in the sight of God but because he was righteous. Suffering for righteousness sake is at the core of Psalm 44

Interesting: The Scriptures regularly depict the saints (Job, the Sons of Korah on behalf of the people) wrestling with the question of why does God allow harm and hurt to come to His saints, His children, His righteous ones

While the Psalm reminds us of certain individuals and their personal sufferings, on a corporate level the Psalm reminds us of the church as a whole and how she has been persecuted, how she is being persecuted, and how she will be persecuted. (Hence we understand the persecuted Israel of Psalm 44 to be representative of the church)

While this is alarming to us- the Scriptures also are very clear that Christ will come to deliver us, that He dearly loves us, that Satan is a defeated foe.


4. The praises of v.1-8 -offered up to God in the midst of severe affliction- remind us that God is worthy of our praise and worship- in good and bad times

Note the determination to praise the Lord in v.8 "we will give thanks to your name forever"

In good and bad times we are to always be counting our blessings. To do so will guard our hearts from bitterness, anger, resentment, and evil.

Song: Count your blessings

5. A hard lesson for us from Psalm 44 is that God gives and He takes away

The declaration of the author of this song is that God was involved in their sufferings. What are we to do with this charge? What are we to make of this?

Note: The Devil never grabs the "wheel" from God and leaves God grasping to get the "wheel" back. God is in control all the time. Our problem is: Our perspective is individualistic and has a short time window. Figuring our "why" is very important to all of us. Hence, when hard times come we are prone to getting angry at God and thinking that He hates us- when in reality He loves us.

Before getting angry at God, Job himself acknowledged this. In Job 1:21-22 Job says; ""Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

The lament of v.9-22 is a tough read- just note all the descriptors that are used

Rejection, disgrace, defeat, pillaged, killed, scattered, sold, derided, scorned, taunted, a laughingstock, shamed, reviled, a byword, like sheep to be slaughtered

Personally we have to learn to be ok with God giving and taking away according to His holy and perfect will. There is always a good reason- but we won't always come to know it in this life. This is not an easy thing.

Corporately we must be prepared as a church for times of affliction and persecution for the sake of Jesus' name- and though we may feel abandoned, we never are.


6. The answer to why do the righteous suffer is found in Jesus - the ultimate righteous sufferer, the call of the church, in Romans 8, and in the large picture of God's redemptive plan

Romans 8

Note Romans 8:17 "Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Note Romans 8:36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

GOD'S BIG REDEMPTIVE PLAN

Why do the righteous suffer? Why are we still here? God has a plan to save people! He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. His plan to save means that we will have to go through temporary difficulty

It is critical that we keep God's big plan in mind- this will help us endure.

A GREAT VERSE!

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

7. As we wait upon the Lord and His deliverance- we are to hold on to our faith.

The faith expressed in Psalm 44, the faith of Job who said "Though he slay, yet will I trust him"- we are to have that kind of faith -personally and collectively as a church.

Don't give up! This is what the song of Psalm 44 is about- it's a plea for help, a plea grounded in praise and trust, though they couldn't explain their situation- still, they chose to trust God.

God is for us- nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. His promise is to never leave us nor forsake us- we must hold on to him and his promises and all the while, we raise our voices to the Lord saying "Come and rescue us from this world"


CLOSING SONG

Blessed be your name