Reading the Word
Psalm 44:9–16 (ESV)
9 But you have rejected us and disgraced us and have not gone out with our armies. 10 You have made us turn back from the foe, and those who hate us have gotten spoil. 11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter and have scattered us among the nations. 12 You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them. 13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those around us. 14 You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples. 15 All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face 16 at the sound of the taunter and reviler, at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
Understanding and Applying the Word
In the opening verses (vv. 1-8), the psalm looks back at how God had been with previous generations and helped them against their enemies. However, in verses 8-16, we read the words of one who has heard the stories of all God has done in the past, but is not experiencing it in the present. The enemies are having their way and God has not provided help.
One of the remarkable things about the Book of Psalms is that many of the psalms are the recorded prayers of God’s people. In these prayers we find praise and joy, hope and trust, and God’s people speaking of their love for him. But we also find times when things are not so good and when God’s people are hurting and calling out to God as they wait for him to answer. In these prayers, we find honesty and the people of God opening their hearts to God.
We can learn much from the psalms. One of the key things we learn is how to pray. We often come before God with our prayers, but many of us fail to truly open our hearts to him. The psalms teach us that we can be open. We can be honest. Cast your cares before the Lord. He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
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