RIFE WITH THE PATHOS OF PRAISE
AND THE ETHOS OF AGONY,
THE BOOK OF PSALMS CAPTURES BETTER
THAN ANY CORPUS OF SCRIPTURE,
THE BI-POLAR NATURE OF LIFE.
(William P. Brown: Seeing the Psalms)
AND PSALM 44 SEEMS SPLIT IN THE MIDDLE,
ABRUPTLY CHANGING FROM JOYFUL PRAISE
TO HEARTBREAKING LAMENT!
PSALM 44:1-8 REJOICES IN GOD’S RESCUE!
PSALM 44:9-26 LAMENTS:
SO HOW ARE WE TO MAKE SENSE OF THIS?
GOD’S PEOPLE ARE NOT FAR FROM HIM:
THEY ARE PRAISING HIS MIGHTY DEEDS IN THE PAST,
THEIR HEARTS “HAVE NOT TURNED BACK,”
THEY HAVE “NOT FORGOTTEN THE NAME OF THEIR GOD”
OR “SPREAD OUT THEIR HANDS TO A FOREIGN GOD…”
SO WHY HAS GOD “NOT GONE OUT WITH THEIR ARMIES?”
“WHY ARE THEY BEING SOLD AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER?”
THIS VERSE IS THE KEY THAT UNLOCKS THE MYSTERY,
FOR WHENEVER AN OLD TESTAMENT VERSE IS QUOTED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THERE IS LIGHT FOR UNDERSTANDING.
WE MAY BE LIVING FOR THE LORD,
SEEKING HIS FACE,
PRAYING THE PSALMS,
FROM THE RULERS OF DARKNESS,
AND HATERS OF GOD.
BUT PSALM 44 SHOWS US
WE MUST LAMENT, SO AS NOT TO BACK UP FROM GOD,
WE MUST KNOW IN OUR HEARTS THAT NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM HIS LOVE.
IN HIS TIME,
HE WILL RISE UP,
AND MAKE US MORE THAN CONQUERERS.
IN GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL TIMING, MY SON J. R. VISITED LAST WEEK AND DID ME THE FAVOR OF FILMING MY FRIEND TWILA’S 5 MINUTE TESTIMONY REGARDING HER DEPRESSION AND PSALM 18, A PSALM
THAT DESCRIBES GOD’S “RISING UP!”
TWILA HAD NOT TURNED HER BACK ON GOD.
SHE HAD NOT FORGOTTEN HIS NAME.
AND YET FOR TEN LONG YEARS SHE SUFFERED DEBILITATING CLINICAL DEPRESSION.
THOUGH SHE DID NOT KNOW WHY GOD “WAS SLEEPING,”
SHE DID NOT STOP CRYING OUT TO GOD
FOR TEN LONG YEARS.
HERE IS TWILA’S STORY, FILMED ON MY WINDY DECK, WHICH I THOUGHT ADDED TO THE DRAMA OF PSALM 18!
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY:
2. Read Psalm 44:1-8
A. How does the psalm begin in verse 1?
B. Find the contrasts in each of the following couplets:
C. Who is the hero in verse 3 and why did he rescue them?
D. For what reasons, according to verses 5-7 are they boasting in their Lord?
3. Read Psalm 44:9-16 and describe the woes the sons of Korah lament to God.
4. Read Psalm 44:17-21 and describe why the son of Korah are confused.
5. Have you ever felt this way — if so, when? (Be brief)
6. Read Psalm 44:23-26:
A. What evidence do you find that the psalmists have not backed up from God, foiling the enemy’s primary goal?
B. Though it may be hard to see, see if you can discover a difference between verse 9 and verses 23 and 26.
Derek Kidner says: “The defeats which seemed to prove God’s withdrawal in wrath now suggest only His refusal to be hurried or to do what everyone has expected of Him.”
New Testament Light:
7. Read Romans 8:35-39, where Psalm 44 is quoted, and share how this gives insight.
A vivid picture of the truth of Psalm 44 occurs in the historical incident of Jesus “asleep in the boat.”
8. How does this incident illustrate the message of Psalm 44? (It is told in Mark 4:35-41)
9. Where does God seem to be sleeping to you? How can you speak to your soul?
Because it is the close of Romans 8 that gives light to psalm 44, I am suggesting this sermon from Tim Keller. It is not free, but worth the 2.50 for the mp3:
Love Beyond Degrees by Tim Keller
10. Share your notes and comments.
11. What is your take-a-way and why?