"O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old....Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!"
~ Psalm 44:1,26
As we clearly know from Genesis 3 (as well as the rest of Scripture), we experience much suffering due to our own sin. Psalm 44 describes another way in which we experience suffering.
A thoughtless assessment of this suffering (v.9-16,19,22) is that it is “for no good reason” or “I didn’t deserve this”…because ”I have been faithful” (v.17-18,20-21). The reality is that this suffering too occurs because of sin, not your own volitional personal sin, but because you are a sinner by nature and the entire world is fallen and sinful.
The ultimate truth is that “for no good reason” and “You didn’t deserve this”, you have received favor, deliverance, mercy, grace and forgiveness as a gift from God (v.1-8). Suffering is our rightful due, but redemption is in Jesus (Romans 6:23).
The experiences of both suffering and mercy are under the sovereign control of our heavenly Father (Isaiah 45:7). Our continual heart’s cry should be to ask the LORD to rise up and come to our help, not because we deserve it, but for the sake of his steadfast love (v.23-26).
Additional reflections from the opening verses of this psalm. It is convicting for me that these Sons of Korah acknowledge to God that they know of him, love him, trust him, serve him and “give thanks to his name forever” (v.8) because of their “fathers” (v.1). God does not speak and act on my behalf just for me. He intends for me to then speak and act on his behalf for the benefit of others, especially my children (Psalm 145:4; Psalm 78:4-6; Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Hard lessons can be learned from the past, from those who failed to tell of the wonders of God to the next generation and the devasting outcome from such unfaithfulness (Judges 2:10-15). May it not be true me; may it not be true of you; may it not be true of us! Let it not be said by the next generation that they never knew of God and who he really is and what he really does and especially what he has really done for them in Jesus Christ. I, too, thank God for my father (and mother) and the many other ‘fathers’ who were faithful to tell me of the wonders of God and of his salvation!
Anchor Baptist Church: head up…press on…arm in arm…making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ WITH one another…generation to generation. Our God is steadfast in his love!