For the choir director, a maskil of the sons of Korah, Psalm 44 is a surprising song. It opens as though it is a historical summary, but gives an overview of early events with a healthy personal testimony and a few surprising allegations.
O God, we have heard with our ears, Our fathers have told us The work that You did in their days, In the days of old. Psalms 44:1
Possession of Canaan – the planting
You with Your own hand drove out the nations; Then You planted them; You afflicted the peoples, Then You spread them abroad.
The divine content Psalms 44:3
For by their own sword they did not possess the land, And their own arm did not save them, But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, For You favored them.Psalm 44:3
Confessing God as king is extremely multifaceted. The king in Israel is a storm waiting to happen. The road to having a king is adorned with upheavals affecting the promises, redirecting the priesthood, and putting Yahweh on the side. The road with kings is a major embarrassment. The kings showed themselves incapable of bringing the nation to fulfillment. A host of prophets and wise persons were equally unsuccessful.
You are my King, O God; Command victories for Jacob.Psalms 44:4
God is also reported to have stopped going out with Israel’s armies, so verse 5 is another example of fact seeping through to draw attention to God’s perseverance in spite of determined resistance.
Throughout You we will push back our adversaries; Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
The two sides of the fortune coin
Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor, And do not go out with our armies.
You make us a reproach to our neighbors, A scoffing and a derision to those around us.
A prayerful approach is always helpful
Psalms 44:4 asks for help; victories are scarce.
You are my King, O God; Command victories for Jacob.
Far be it from me to argue with the record. Synchronizing life with the law and covenants has never gotten a passing grade. No fable can change the facts. Yahweh never sleeps, he does not reject a people he foreknew, and he knows how many times the people have forgotten him and when the covenant became a casualty of a resistant mindset.
Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not reject us forever.
You sell Your people cheaply, And have not profited by their sale.
All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You, And we have not dealt falsely with Your covenant.
Obviously false claims can enter the songbook and we do not know how many people actually bought into these unfounded allegations. Let’s not join the crowd, singing songs just because they exist.