Psalm 44

Psalm 44  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Here the complaint becomes the complaint of many. They stand in the consciousness of integrity, though in great sorrow; but they remember God’s mercies to their fathers, and upon this they appeal to Him.
It is strikingly the cry of a martyred people, or of those who were suffering at the hand of man for righteousness’ sake, and not for any iniquity or wrong they had done. Such was David when troubled by Saul; such will the godly Israel be when troubled by the bold infidel power of the latter day; and such, we need not say, was Jesus, the perfect witness of righteousness against the deeds of the world (John 7:77The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. (John 7:7)). But such, in our measure, should all of us be, in refusing the course of this present evil world, and taking the separate place of Jesus.
There is an advance in the experience of the soul here. In the two earlier Psalms (Psa.42; Psa.43) it had been rather the cry of a penitent, righteously separated from God’s house, as David in Absalom’s days; but here it is the cry of martyrs.
This Psalm strikingly shows that scripture, primarily or prophetically belonging to a particular people, may have moral or general application; for verse 1 plainly shows this to be a Jewish utterance, but St. Paul applies it to all saints (Rom. 8:3636As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (Romans 8:36); Rom. 5:22). And he intimates that as it is the blessed office of the Holy Ghost to maintain the soul in the sense of God’s love (Rom. 5:55And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)), nothing shall be so strong against us, as is the Holy Ghost for us, maintaining that love (Rom. 8:3939Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)).
A difference, however, between the suppliant in the Psalm and the Apostle in the Epistle is this: the Psalmist gathers present confidence in the sorrow from what the fathers had told of God’s mercies in times of old; the Apostle gathers his from being able, through the Holy Ghost, to trace God’s counsels of love and glory towards himself and all that love God—the called according to His purpose. So, I may observe, there is a difference in the affection of the two: in the one it is fear, from the knowledge that God searcheth the heart; in the other it is love, from the knowledge of His unchangeable love.