Psalm 44 - People's Plea for the Grace of God




[New International Version] Psalm 44 belongs to Book II of the Book of Psalms. In this prayer of complaint and abandonment, the Psalmist asks God to watch over his people again and protect them against the oppression of enemies.

The PS 44 belong to Book II of the book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book II comprises the PS 42 the 72 . The PS 44 is divided into 27 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 44 - People’s Supplication

1  To the director. For the children of Korah. Poem .

2  With our ears we hear, O God!
Our ancestors told us
the wonders that you did in their days,
in the days of old.

3  With your hand you drove out peoples and punished nations;
and so you planted our fathers in this land,
and here you made them grow.

4  It was not by his sword that they conquered the land,
nor was it by his arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and your arm
and the light on your face, because you loved them.

5  You are my king, O God.
Decree victory for Jacob’s people.

6  With you we will attack our adversaries;
by thy name we will trample our enemies underfoot.

7  It is not my bow that I trust,
nor my sword that will save me.

8  For Thou hast saved us from our enemies,
and hast covered those who hated us with shame.

9 We  have praised you at all times, O God,
and we shall celebrate your name forever.

10  But You rejected us and left us ashamed,
and you no longer go out with our armies.

11  You turn us back from enemies,
and those who hate us have plundered our goods.

12  You have given us up like sheep to slaughter
and scattered us among the peoples.

13 You have  sold your people for a pittance
and have not even discussed their prices.

14  You have made us a mockery of our neighbors, a
contempt and a mockery of those around us.

15  You made us an example to the peoples,
causing the nod of the head among the nations.

16  Every day I am aware of my misfortune,
and shame covers my face,

17  with the cries of the insulting and reproach,
in the sight of enemies and oppressors.

18  All this happened to us, without forgetting you
or breaking your covenant.

19  Our hearts have not turned back,
and our steps have not strayed from your path.

20  But You crushed us in the ground of wild beasts,
and enveloped us in deep darkness.

21  If we had forgotten the name of our God
and stretched out our hands to a strange god,

22  God would certainly have discovered this,
for He knows the depths of the heart.

23  Because of you, we have been slaughtered all day long
and treated like sheep for slaughter.

24  Awake, Lord, why are you sleeping?
Arise and do not reject us forever.

25  Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and tribulation?

26  Our soul is prostrate in the dust,
and our belly is on the ground.

27  Arise to our help
and redeem us by your mercy.

Meaning and interpretation

The Psalm 44 is a collective prayer of supplication . It begins with a hymn of praise to God for the wonders performed for the ancestors (Verses 2-9). There follows a lamentation over the misfortunes that left the whole nation humiliated before other peoples (Verses 10-17) and concludes with a complaint of the people , because of the abandonment that all that seemed to mean on the part of God (Verses 18- 27).

The intensity of the collective problems that are reflected here makes us think of a time of particular difficulty and insecurity, which leads specialists to link the origin of this Psalm to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587. The same happens with Psalm 74; 79; 80.

This Psalm expresses the moral and psychological suffering and shame of an entire people because of the ill - treatment that are inflicted, as a result of wars . The delivery of sheep for slaughter, the dispersal and exile in foreign lands, and the sale of the people to waste as slaves are metaphors that the practices of warfare in antiquity made very real and frequent.

The Psalmist asks God to abandon his kind of falling asleep or the attitude of rejection and forgetfulness , asking Him to reconsider and turn back to his people .

The Psalms of Supplication are very present in the Book of Psalms. They speak of human frailty and the most basic feelings of your mortal condition. Times of peace and plenty contrast with war and individual or community destruction. The Psalmist pleads for God’s help and asks him to end his situation of affliction , ending with the certainty of having been heard .

In spiritual practice, the supplication and request to God reflects a lot the meaning of prayer, being the privileged way to establish contact and raise the voice to the Divine. In numerous Psalms, supplication seems to be the most immediate motivation and the greatest concern. When turning to God, the speaker / Psalmist finds tenderness, justice, compassion, reconciliation, purification, in short, peace itself.

The narratives and feelings involved in these prayers are varied and basic; affect humanity over the millennia, and are still current today. They reflect multiple interior , individual and collective experiences, and the relationship between people and peoples. They address topics such as the deadly threat of disease, persecution, aging, violence, war, betrayal, loneliness, enemy aggression and how these feelings alter consciousness we have of ourselves, of our relationship with others and with God.

Situations that prompt supplication can be bitter and desperate , but the Psalms generally express a state of mind of trust and end in thanksgiving . The Psalmist cries out to God for his help and forgiveness in a profound expression of limitless trust in divine compassion and justice. Even the cry of the Psalmist is already a fighting speech, change will, of inner transformation, confidence and hope for a free future evil, the suffering and the wicked .

The Psalms of Supplication they are classified as individual supplication and collective supplication. Those of Individual Supplication comprise Psalm 3; 5-7; 13; 17; 22; 26; 27; 28; 31; 35; 39; 42-43; 51; 54-57; 59; 61; 63; 64; 69-71; 88; 102; 109; 120; 130; 140-143. and those of  Collective Supplication Ps 12; 44; 58; 60; 74; 80; 83; 85; 90; 94; 108; 123; 127.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.