GOD, HELP US!

Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
 
Psalm 44 made fun
Humiliation is not the state we choose to travel through on our journey of life, but it happens and is necessary. Life is Good is only for a T-shirt. GOD is good. Life here involves all kinds of situations and trials that can provide ways for us to grow up in our faith…or not. It’s all about choices. It’s all about knowing the One and Only who is in control, if we let Him. It’s about following when we feel like leading. It’s about repenting and humbling ourselves before our Creator who is waiting for us to decide between His best versus our self-led lives to less than His best. In defeat, it’s all about Who we turn to and wait for to pick us back up and set us right, looking up to God and moving forward once more.
 
The Jewish people sang praises to God after their great victories (Ex. 15; Judg. 5), but this psalm was sung after a humiliating defeat (vv. 9-14, 22). They cry out, “God, if you love us so much, help us”. They even suggest ways for God to punish their enemies! Do we pray honestly like this? Are they ready to hear what God has to say and accept how He will rescue them? Are we ready to follow when we don’t know the full picture of what God is doing?
 
Psalm 44, The Message
A Psalm of the Sons of Korah
 

Psalm 44 8 boast1-3 We’ve been hearing about this, God,

all our lives.
Our fathers told us the stories
their fathers told them,
How single-handedly you weeded out the godless
from the fields and planted us,
How you sent those people packing
but gave us a fresh start.
We didn’t fight for this land;
we didn’t work for it—it was a gift!
You gave it, smiling as you gave it,
delighting as you gave it.
 
Psalm 44 give up to receive all that God has4-8 You’re my King, O God—
command victories for Jacob!
With your help we’ll wipe out our enemies,
in your name we’ll stomp them to dust.
I don’t trust in weapons;
my sword won’t save me—
But it’s you, you who saved us from the enemy;
you made those who hate us lose face.
All day we parade God’s praise—
we thank you by name over and over.
 
9-12 But now you’ve walked off and left us,
you’ve disgraced us and won’t fight for us.
You made us turn tail and run;
those who hate us have cleaned us out.
You delivered us as sheep to the butcher,
you scattered us to the four winds.
You sold your people at a discount—
you made nothing on the sale.
 
13-16 You made people on the street,
urchins, poke fun and call us names.
You made us a joke among the godless,
a cheap joke among the rabble.
Every day I’m up against it,
my nose rubbed in my shame—
Gossip and ridicule fill the air,
people out to get me crowd the street.
 
17-19 All this came down on us,
and we’ve done nothing to deserve it.
We never betrayed your Covenant: our hearts
were never false, our feet never left your path.
Do we deserve torture in a den of jackals?
or lockup in a black hole?
 
20-22 If we had forgotten to pray to our God
or made fools of ourselves with store-bought gods,
Wouldn’t God have figured this out?
We can’t hide things from him.
No, you decided to make us martyrs,
lambs assigned for sacrifice each day.
 
Psalm 44 honest23-26 Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?
Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,
held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
If you love us so much, Help us!
 
SOMETHING TO CHEW…
(A study by Warren Wiersbe helps us to understand the situation in light of God’s bigger picture!) This will help all of us not to read this honest psalm lightly but to dig a little deeper.
 
Four attitudes emerge from this prayer of honest:
 
1. They boast in the Lord for all the previous victories. The Jewish parents were faithful to obey God and tell their children and grandchildren what the Lord had done in their history. God had rooted out the godless nations, planted Israel in the land, and enabled the nation to take root and grow. All of this was done, not because Israel deserved it, but because of God’s love and grace. God’s power gave the victory, and His countenance smiled upon His people. The psalmist affirmed that Jehovah was still their King and could easily command (decree) victories for His people. The nation wanted no glory for itself; they wanted the Lord to receive all the glory.
 
2. They felt forsaken, “But now, you’ve walked off and left us.” The people were perplexed. If God gave them the land in His grace and enabled them to defeat their enemies, why was He now forsaking them and allowing the idolatrous nations to win the victories? Nations rejoiced that Israel had been humiliated by defeat, and they taunted and ridiculed the Jews. It was a dark day for the people of God, and they could not understand what the Lord was accomplishing. Dishonor and disgrace brought the people to the place of submission and intercession.
 
3. Faithful to God: “You Should Help Us” (vv. 17-22). Whenever there was trouble in Israel, the first explanation was usually “Somebody has sinned.” But after introspection they could not find any sin to be confessed. Paul quoted part of the Psalm, verse 11 when he spoke of God’s unchanging love for us in Romans 8:28. His magnificent argument was that nothing could separate God’s people from His love, not even defeat after a record of victories! The principle is the same for both God’s old covenant people and His new covenant people: Those who give their lives in His cause are conquerors, not victims; and God can be glorified even in seeming defeat.
 
Consider this…
Israel’s defeat didn’t mean that God loved them less; it meant that He was permitting this to happen so that He could carry out a purpose known only to Him. Like the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 6:9–8:3), Israel’s defeat gave their enemies further opportunity to come to know the Lord. Saul of Tarsus was greatly moved by Stephen’s death (Acts 22:17-21), and this undoubtedly helped to prepare him for his meeting with Christ on the Damascus road. No matter how their lives may end, God’s servants never die like beasts, for “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (116:15 nkjv).
 
4. Trusting in God: “You Will Help Us” (vv. 23-26). In verse 23, the writer used the name “Adonai” (Lord) when speaking to God. This is the name that declares that He is Owner and Master of all, including the nations of the world. It is sometimes translated “Sovereign Lord” (Adonai Jehovah; 2 Sam. 7:18-20 niv). He is “Lord [Adonai] of the whole earth” (97:5), and the earth should tremble “at the presence of the Lord [Adonai]” (114:7). The psalmist came to the place where he knew he could trust God to handle the defeats of life and ultimately turn them into victories. Yes, it seemed like God was asleep, and the nation had to awaken Him (7:6; 78:65), but “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (121:4 nkjv). The people of Israel had come to the place that Job reached when he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:15).
 
We can’t always explain the so-called tragedies of life, especially those that happen to God’s people, but Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible. The prophet Isaiah gives us wise counsel in 50:10: “Who is among you that fears the Lord that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God” (nasb). We may look like sheep for the slaughter, but in God’s sight we are “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37). Yes and Amen!
 
God has, is and will always be with us and help us because of His love for us. Don’t forget that!
 
Psalm 44 trust
HEART CHECK:
 
Do you sometimes doubt God’s presence?
 
Do you think God is withdrawing His blessing from America? Explain.
 
How might personal tragedy be one of the best things a believer experiences?
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have all kinds of ways, perfect ways, to draw us closer to You. Your bigger picture would probably scare us silly if you gave it to us all at once. You give, just what we need, with a smile, knowing what is best for us. We humbly fall to your feet and accept that You are Lord at this place of submission and intercession. It is You who we will trust with all of life. It is You who loves us best and forever. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
A song comes to mind by Lauren Daigle / Paul Marbury / Michael Farren
 
Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
Mighty warrior, king of the fight
No matter what I face You’re by my side
 
When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
 
Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So let all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less
 
When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
I will trust in You
 
You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foudation
The rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood
 
When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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