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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 44

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-26

Psalms 44

Prayer Based On Retrospect

Scripture v. 1-26:

Verses 1, 2 relate that Israel has heard by their own ears, as their fathers had related, the kind of works the living God had done in their days, in days now long past. They had witnessed how Jehovah, the powerful, and elohim, the living God of strength had driven out the enemy by their hand; how He had afflicted the heathen, at their hand and cast them out, while planting Israel, His elect, firmly in the land He had promised to their father Abraham. Such was repeatedly told by the sages, elders, and prophets, as recounted Exodus 15:17; Exodus 34:11; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 10:12; Joshua 11:23; Joshua 21:43; Nehemiah 9:22-27; Psalms 78:55; Psalms 80:8; Psalms 105:44; Psalms 135:11-12.

Verse 3 adds that they did not possess the land merely by their own sword, for theirs alone were no stronger than the arm and sword of the heathen, Deuteronomy 8:17; Joshua 24:12. But David declared it was by the right hand and arm (of strength) of the Lord, and by the light, favor arid good will of his face, as a favor to them, that they had taken homestead possession of the land, Deuteronomy 4:37; Psalms 43:3; Numbers 6:25-26, "Not by might, nor by strength, but by my spirit, saith the Lord," was the conviction of David, as expressed also Zechariah 4:6.

Verses 4, 5 commit and plead," Thou art (exist as) my King, O God, command deliverance for Jacob, "Psalms 74:12. David simply affirmed that he was subject to the living God as king (absolute ruler) over his life; He was a sufficient commander to remove David’s enemies, to assure to him many blessings, Psalms 147:15; Psalms 107:20; Matthew 8:8-9. He added that "through you (your strength) we will push down our enemies," Daniel 8:4. He is still the true source of strength for conquering the world, the flesh, and the devil, Philippians 4:19.

Verses 6, 7 disavow any trust in bow or sword, as agencies for David’s deliverance, in battle or any conflict, Psalms 33:16; Hosea 1:7. He attributed their past salvation from all enemies to the power of the Lord in whom he yet trusted.

Verses 8, 9 assert that their boast, glory, or praise for Achievements would be in the Lord, forever, as also certified Jeremiah 9:24; John 8:41; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 1 Corinthians 1:31; Romans 2:17. But David lamented that the Lord had now cast Israel off, put her to shame, and did not go forth with her armies, because he had not consulted the Lord in the matter of battle, as before times. 2 Samuel 5:24.

Verse 10 adds "thou makest us (caused us) to turn back or flee from the enemy," so that those who hated them took spoil of warfare and battle for themselves, their own use, to their heart’s content, 1 Samuel 14:48; 1 Samuel 23:1; Leviticus 21:17; Deuteronomy 28:25; Joshua 7:8; Joshua 7:12.

Verse 11 adds further that the Lord had given them like sheep for the slaughter, scattering them among the heathen, as He had forewarned in the law, Deuteronomy 4:27; Deuteronomy 28:64; 2 Kings 17:6; Psalms 60:1; Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 32:37; Ezekiel 31:17; Luke 21:24; Romans 8:36.

Verses 12-14 continue to relate God’s judgments on His erring people over whom David reigned, as David lamented; that God sold them for nothing, and did not increase his wealth by their price, Isaiah 52:3-4. He asserted the Lord did not gain by alienating them from Zion, Jeremiah 15:13. Yet it was by His chastening will, for their penitent good, that He sold them into captivity to the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians. He added that God caused them to be an object of reproach, scorn, and derision to their neighbors and those round about them; He made them to be even, as Moses had foretold, Deuteronomy 28:37; Psalms 22:7; Psalms 79:4; Psalms 80:6.

Verses 15, 16 state that David’s confusion was continually before him, so that his face was covered with shame and humiliation. Such was agitated by the enemy and avenger who continually derided and scorned and blasphemed him, a thing of which all Israel had been forewarned should she turn away from Him and His laws, as further related Jeremiah 3:25; Psalms 69:7. Yet, Satan is a great enemy and avenger of the people of God, Psalms 8:2; 1 Peter 5:8.

Verses 18, 19 continue’ to plead "our heart (affection) is not turned back, nor have our feet turned out of or gone down from your ways." The claim was not true, Psalms 119:57. He adds that though the Lord had sorely judged or broken them in the desert of dragons, or jackals, covering them with the shadow of death, it was an harsh chastening that they did not really deserve. This is often the attitude of children toward the chastening of their parents, Hebrews 12:5-12; Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 34:13; Isaiah 43:20; Psalms 74:13-14; Ezekiel 9:3; Revelation 12; Revelation 9; Revelation 13:2.

Verses 20, 21 reassert that they have told the truth, v. 17, 18, not having forgotten the (worthy) name of their living God or stretched out their hands to worship an idol or strange god. David rhetorically asks, "God will search this out, will He not?" For He continually knows the secrets of the heart. Such is surely certified Psalms 139:1; Job 31:14; Jeremiah 17:10; See also Joshua 22:22-23; Ecclesiastes 12:14; John 2:25; Acts 1:21; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12.

Verses 22-23 appeal "For thy sake we are slaughtered all the day long, counted as sheep for the slaughter," Verse 23 pleads "awake!" or wake up, why do you sleep on, O Lord? Arise, cast us not off forever," or do not leave us to perish; The answer is given Psalms 121:4; Matthew 8:25; The prayer of the afflicted must always rest on the sure promises of the Lord, 1 Samuel 12:22; Jeremiah 31:37; Romans 11:1; Hebrews 13:5.

Verses 24-26 conclude this lamenting appeal of David as he complained, like Job, that God had hidden His face from and forgotten the affliction and oppression of David, His people Israel, while their soul was bowed down to the dust and their belly stuck to the ground in utter humiliation, Psalms 119:25. Then in a final cry, he said, "Arise (stand up) for our help" meet our need, and "redeem us for thy mercies’ sake," not because of our righteousness, Psalms 63:7. It was a cry God did heed. Because of this spirit he was called a "man after God’s own heart," 1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalms 145:18-19; Exodus 14:30; Isaiah 59:20.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 44". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-44.html. 1985.
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