Saturday, November 29, 2008

Psalm 44

This the second Maskil is a new thing in the sequence of the psalter - a corporate lament. See also Psalm 89. I did not consider anything in Book I to be a lament. The personal pattern in Book I is - I am in trouble / then a sudden change of thinking - God is with me / I can depend on him. This lament is different - We have a great example and promise / why does God not live up to it? So in the personal, the psalm ends with confidence. In this lament the psalm ends without resolution of the plea. The personal pattern may include a prayer for forgiveness, but these are not confessions of sin as in the 7 penitential psalms.

For the leader
of the children of Korah
from insight
God with our ears we have heard
our fathers have recounted to us
a work you worked in their days
in the days of old

Your very hand dispossessed nations and established them
you afflicted peoples and spread them abroad
For not by their sword did they possess the land
and their strength did not save them
for it was your right hand and your strength and the light of your face
for you favoured them

You are he my king O God
command the victories of Jacob
In you we will push back our enemies
in your name we will trample over those rising against us

for not in my bow will I trust
and my sword not will save me
for you have saved us from our enemies
and those hating us you have put to shame
in God we will boast all the day
and your name we praise for ever
But you have rejected us and humiliated us
and you do not go with our hosts
You make us turn back from an enemy
and those hating us plunder for themselves

You have given us like sheep for food
and among the nations you have scattered us
You sell your people for no gain
and you do not even drive up their price

You make us a reproach to our neighbours
a scorn and a derision to those around us
You make us a proverb among the nations
a wagging of a head among the peoples

All the day my ignominy is in front of me
and the shame of my face covers me
from a voice of reproaching and reviling
from the faces of an enemy and avenger

All this came upon us
but we have not forgotten you
we were not false with your covenant
our heart is not turned back
nor our steps turned from your path
for you crushed us in a place of dragons
and you covered us in the shadow of death

If we have forgotten the name of our God
and spread out our hands to a strange god
will not God examine this?
For he knows secrets of a heart
For you we are killed all day long
we are considered as sheep for slaughter

Awake! why will you sleep O Lord?
Arise! do not reject for ever
Why is your face hidden
and you forget our affliction and our oppression?
For our life is bowed down to dust
our belly clings to the earth
Arise to help us and ransom us
for the sake of your loving-kindness

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