9 But now you have rejected and humbled us;
you no longer go out with our armies.
10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered us.
11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your people for a pittance,
gaining nothing from their sale.
13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations;
the peoples shake their heads at us.
15 I live in disgrace all day long,
and my face is covered with shame
16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revileme,
because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
17 All this came upon us,
though we had not forgotten you;
we had not been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
you covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?
25 We are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us;
rescue us because of your unfailing love. NIV
This section of Psalm 44 plunges into a struggle. The writer
finds himself in a bitter situation. Read through verses 9-19 and try to answer
the following questions:
How many negative phrases do you count in verses 9-26? Write
some of them down here:
How many accusations does the writer make against God? Write
some of them down here:
Which of these phrases do you identify with most personally?
Which phrase is most alarming to you? Which phrase seems most faithful? Which
phrase seems overstated because of the writer’s emotional struggles?
Verses 1-8 of this psalm seemed to hold an optimistic
promise. Why do you think that the psalm ends so pessimistic and unresolved?
How could this passage of struggle become a source of
encouragement for people?
::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::
Faith does not guarantee that life will always
feel good or go according to our plans. In fact, many psalms end with painful expressions
and unresolved tension. Try to find some of the other psalms that end on a
downward comment. Why do you think the psalms include such a range of raw human