The Psalms

Psalm 44

The church, in memory of former favors, 1-6, complains of her present evils, 7-16. Professing her integrity, 17-23, she fervently prays for help, 24-26.

1 [To the Chief Musician for the Sons of Korah. Maschil.]

We have heard with our ears, O God./
Our fathers have told us what work you did in their days,/
in the times of old:

How you drove out the heathen with your hand/
and planted them,/
how you afflicted the people/
and cast them out.

For they did not obtain the land in possession by their own sword,/
neither did their own arm save them,/
but your right hand, your arm,/
and the light of your countenance,/
because you were favorable to them.

You are my King, O God./
Command deliverances for Jacob.

Through you we will push down our enemies./
Through your name we will tread them under who rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow,/
neither shall my sword save me.

But you have saved us from our enemies/
and have put them to shame who hated us.

In God we boast all the day long./
We will praise your name forever./

But you have cast off and put us to shame/
and do not go forth with our armies.

10 You make us to turn back from the enemy./
And those who hate us plunder for themselves.

11 You have given us like sheep appointed for food/
and scattered us among the heathen.

12 You sell your people for nothing/
and have not increased your wealth by their price.

13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,/
a scorn and a derision to those who are around us.

14 You make us a by-word among the heathen,/
a shaking of the head among the people.

15 My disgrace is continually before me/
and the shame of my face has covered me,

16 Because of the voice of him who reproaches and blasphemes,/
because of the enemy and avenger.

17 All this has come upon us, yet we have not forgotten you,/
neither have we dealt falsely in your covenant.

18 Our heart has not turned back,/
neither have our steps declined from your way,

19 Though you have severely broken us in the place of jackals/
and covered us with the shadow of death.

20 If we have forgotten the name of our God/
or stretched out our hands to a strange god,

21 Will God not search this out?/
For he knows the secrets of the heart.

22 Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long./
We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

23 Awake, why do you sleep, O Lord?/
Arise, do not cast us off forever.

24 Why do you hide your face/
and forget our affliction and our oppression?

25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust./
Our belly cleaves to the earth.

26 Arise for our help/
and redeem us for your mercies' sake.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 44[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

This psalm is divided into three principal parts. In the beginning of it the faithful record the infinite mercy of God towards his people, and the many tokens by which he had testified his fatherly love towards them. Then they complain that they do not now find that God is favorable towards them, as he had formerly been towards their fathers. In the third place, they refer to the covenant which God had made with Abraham, and declare that they have kept it with all faithfulness, notwithstanding the sore afflictions to which they had been subjected. At the same time, they complain that they are cruelly persecuted for no other cause but for having continued steadfastly in the pure worship of God. In the end, a prayer is added, that God would not forget the wrongful oppression of his servants, which especially tends to bring dishonor and reproach upon religion.

[v.19] - "the place of jackals" - LXX: τόπῳ κακώσεως—the place of affliction.

[v.22] - Quoted in Romans 8:36.