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Psalm Forty Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.

sons of Korah. This is the second psalm written for “the sons of Korah” as well as another Maschil psalm (see note on the title to Psalm 32 and note on the title to Psalm 42. Although Korah and some of his sons were slain by God when they rebelled against Moses (Numbers 16:32), some of the sons of Korah had separated themselves from the rebellion, and so survived (Numbers 16:25-27).

Psalm 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

Psalm 44:2 How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

Psalm 44:3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

Psalm 44:4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

Psalm 44:5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

Psalm 44:6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

Psalm 44:7 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

Psalm 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah

Selah. This note of pause and reflection ends what might be called the first stanza of this “psalm of the martyrs.” Although speaking of God's power in bringing victory to Israel in this first period of existence, most of it cannot be assigned to any particular event in her history. It may be intended for appropriation by either Israel's martyrs or the martyrs of Christianity in any period or periods of history.

Psalm 44:9 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.

Psalm 44:10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.

Psalm 44:11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.

Psalm 44:12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.

Psalm 44:13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.

Psalm 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

byword among the heathen. This prophecy was fulfilled in the age-long hatred and ridicule of the Israelites by the Gentile peoples, as predicted even earlier by Moses (Deuteronomy 28:37).

Psalm 44:15 My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,

Psalm 44:16 For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

Psalm 44:17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.

not forgotten thee. The prophecy of Psalm 44:14 was fulfilled because Israel had forgotten God. The martyrs mentioned here, however, were suffering in spite of being faithful, indicating that they were Christian martyrs suffering for Christ's sake (Philippians 1:29). It may also apply to small remnants of faithful Israelites during times of national judgment, such as Daniel.

Psalm 44:18 Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;

Psalm 44:19 Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

Psalm 44:20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;

Psalm 44:21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Psalm 44:22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

killed all the day long. This has certainly been fulfilled in the many persecutions of the Jews through the ages, most recently in the Nazi holocaust. Paul also indicated the same would apply to Gentile Christians when quoting this verse in Romans 8:36.

Psalm 44:23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.

Psalm 44:24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?

Psalm 44:25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.

Psalm 44:26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.