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So the righteous suffer along with the wicked … confusing, frustrating, and it hurts. So here we pour it all out to our heavenly Father in all its raw confusion and pain because he loves us and he is down in the mud with us.
Hi everyone, and welcome to Training for Life Redeemed. I’m your host, Dan. I’m here with my dad, Dr. David Jackson, and we are going through the Psalms. Last week we began with Psalm 42 slash 43, which we learned was the same Psalm, just kind of 43 was added on afterwards. Same kind of refrain repeating itself throughout. Today we’re looking at Psalm 44.
Psalm 44 0 For the director by the sons of Korah, a Maskil. The Past 1 O God, we have heard with our ears. Our fathers told us of the work you performed in their days, in former days. 2 Your own hand dispossessed nations And you planted them. You destroyed peoples, And you sent them off. 3 For they did not possess land with their sword, And their arm did not rescue them. Rather it was your right hand and your arm and the light of your face, Because you were pleased with them. 4 God, you are the one, you are my king. Order Jacob’s rescues. 5 In you we charge our foes[like bull]. In your name we trample them. We overcome. 6 Because I do not trust in my bow; And my sword does not save me. 7 Because you save us from our foes, And you shame those who hate us. 8 In God we celebrate every day, And we give thanks to your name forever. Selah The present 9 But then, you rejected and humiliated us, And you did not go out with our armies. 10 You caused us to retreat from the foe, And the ones who hated us took the plunder for themselves. 11 You gave us like sheep as food, And you scattered us among the nations. 12 You sold your people for nothing, And you did not up their price. 13 You set us up to be a taunt before our neighbours, An object of mocking and derision for those around us. 14 You set us up as a byword among the nations; a head shaker among all the peoples. 15 All day I face my critics, And the shame of my face overwhelms me; 16 From the sound of the critic and the mocker from the face of an enemy and avenger. I don’t deserve this 17 All this came upon us, But we did not forget you, And we did not deal falsely with your covenant. 18 Our heart did not turn back, Nor did it redirect our steps from your path. 19 You crushed us in the haunt of the jackals, And you covered us over with deep darkness. 20 If we forget the name of our God, And we spread our hands to a foreign god, 21 Would God not find out, because he knows the secrets of a heart. Help Me 22 On your account we are being killed all day. We are reckoned as slaughtered sheep. 23 Rise up! Why do you sleep Lord? Wake up! Don’t reject us as pools of blood. 24 Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and our distress? 25 For our life sinks to dust; Our belly is stuck on the ground. 26 Rise up! Be a help to us, And ransom us for the sake of your covenant faithfulness. .
Dad, again, this song is written by the sons of Korah, who you said last week are, the people that David set up to write Psalms. Yep. Basically. So there should be lots of them coming up, right? Yeah. Where the Sons of Korah. Yep. Same. Could be anyone from any generation of writing a song. does say it’s a maskil again. I hope I said that correctly. so last song was a maskil as well. This one’s a masilk. What’s a maskil?
There’s a whole bunch of maskils . the word shakal is the word for, I think the best translation is sensible. Yeah. So this is, this is a song that teaches us sense. You know, my father used to talk about common sense. It’s not so common on the fact that I didn’t have any , . But this is, you know, be sensible. and it’s a song that teaches. So in the Dead Sea Scrolls community, there’s a guy called the Maskil. He’s, you know, he’s the teacher, the instructor. He’s the guy that gives you wisdom. and these are the songs that teach you to get your head and your heart tuned in to be sensible, when everybody else is telling you stupid stuff.
All right, well, let’s have a look at this psalm. This follows a fairly clear structure. Yeah. That is fairly common in a lot of Psalms, I would say. Yeah. This kind of thing. Often it comes back to, I mean, this, this song’s missing the last kind of bit of, I will rejoice in God again and blah, blah blah. But it’s definitely got the same kind of first bit. So we’re starting off with this, you know, God, we’ve heard how wonderful you are, how, you know, all of our grand descendants, et cetera, told us about, you know, Abraham and Egypt and how you set us up in the land of Canaan and all that kind of jazz. Yep. They’ve heard all that. That’s how it starts.
That’sHow it Starts
. And then it goes, but
. But, so we’ve got this whole wonderful history of the covenant blessings. So you go back to Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28 to 30, you know, we, we’ve got the stories of when we were faithful, God was faithful to his promises. So five of you will chase a hundred and yeah. That sort of thing. our enemies are fleeing. God’s winning the battles for us. We are dispossessing the land. We don’t put our trust in our own muscle and our weapons. We trust the Lord. We stand at the top of the hill, wave our hands and say, please God, rescue us. And all of our enemies kill each other and run away, . and you look at battle, Gideon, you look at all these great stories of, you know, God doing the fighting for us. And you go back in the day. We’ve heard the stories. We know what you did, but
You’re not doing it now,
. So what are we doing? You know, here conquered by our enemies, sitting in a prisoner of war camp. yeah. Everybody’s ripping into us and mocking and ridiculing us, and we are just what happened? Yeah.
. Yeah. What happened? And not even just what happened. It’s like we didn’t forget you. Like Yeah. The, we just got conquered, but it’s not because we forgot. You God, we’ve, we’ve been keeping a covenant. If not, you’d know, you know, . Yeah. And we are faithful followers and yet we are rejected and humiliated by our enemies. So,
So here I am sitting here. I’ve trusted you all the way through this process when everybody else said not to mm-hmm. and all the covenant curses have hit them. And why am I in there with them? You know, why shouldn’t you be, you know, I’ve been faithful. Let’s take all the saints over here, , put, you know, put ’em on the high high ground and watch all the bad guys go down. Yeah. But somehow we’re in there with the bad guys in the same prisoner of war camp.
Yeah. Don’t you just start again with us, , wipe them out. Start again. Wipe them out. Start again. What,
What difference does it make to be faithful? why did I bother? Well, that’s a stupid thing to say. So this is a song about be sensible
Don’t go down those silly roads.
Yeah, yeah. But,
But I like this slide here. You set us up to be a taunt before our neighbors. An objective mocking and derision for those around us. we are a byword among the nations. and all day long I’m facing critics and mockers and everything else, but I’m the faithful. We, we are the faithful people, you know, mock them,
What’s going on.
Yeah. Yeah. And this psalm like when you’re looking at, when it was written, like we’re not told, but it’s, you know, you could apply it at multiple places throughout history where God’s people who were faithful still suffered. Yeah. because, well, because we are living in a world of sin, at the very least, for that. But then also if you are in, you know, if you’re suffering as Israel, like, let’s, because it would’ve been living in the Old Testament, so Israel are getting punished, but you are the remnant who are faithful, but you still end up in, you know, over in Babylon. You’re still the slave who’s being Yeah. Taught to do stuff over in Babylon. yeah. So you did, like, you survived cuz you wrote the psalm, but you’re not . Yeah.
Yeah. It’s, I I think that tells us a couple of things about the way we read Psalms. later on, we’re gonna read Psalm 51. I think we , I think we read our Bible in some sort of surreal head space. it’s as if we’re, I liken Psalm 51 to go into a musical, you know, we, we, we are watching a musical. And in the musical, David does his thing with Bath Sheba. Nathan comes on stage, scene two and rebukes him. Scene three, David’s on his face repenting only David. It’s a musical. So he sings Psalm 51. Yeah. You know, but he didn’t, he didn’t, these songs were written after an experience for other people. They weren’t written for the moment. This is the lesson we learned out of that experience. Yeah. This is, this is how we got our head around what was going on.
And we’ve put it into a song. And when you learn the song, you memorize sensible thinking. Yeah. And then whatever anytime you find yourself in that place, you’ve got the song that keeps you on in tune with God. So yeah, it could be the refugee camp in Babylon by the rivers of Babylon. There we sat down a wJost. It could be the people who were, and I think it probably was the people who were with Josiah, who threw off all the idols of the previous kings and were faithful to the Lord. And then Josiah got one thing wrong and he got dead. And the next king went back to the idols. And there were people who stayed faithful and they were still faithful. Like Jeremiah. I mean, I can imagine Jeremiah singing this would be a great song. , now you’ve arrested Jeremiah, you’ve abused him, you’ve piled on the abuse, you tossed him down the bottom of a cistern in a, in the mud at the bottom through the lid on. And the Babylonians came in, wipe out the city and a Babylonian pulls the lid off and said, oh, you are the guy that told him to surrender to us. Come on
And he ends up getting kidnapped and taken to Egypt.
And you look at that and go, this isn’t exactly working out the way I wanted it to . I’m with faithful people and I’m with the people who are have done the wrong thing. And now let’s be sensible about this. Why am I here? and like every song in the new, in the Psalms, it all finds its resolution in Jesus. Jesus explains why I’m here. Mm-hmm.
. Yeah. So Dad with this psalm towards the end of it mm-hmm. , he’s still not saved. . Ah. And this is like moving away from Disney
Definitely. we’re not, there’s no happy ending here for this person. No. they’re just sitting there going, come on God, come on, . And it’s not like Job where at the end, you know, Job’s, Job’s praying this, and then God shows up and says, shut up .
Yeah. I’ve got this. I’ll take care of it. You’ve indicated you guys are the idiots. He’s the right guy. Now at the end of this, I love the language here, I think it rebukes our lack of trust and lack of intimacy with God. I mean, would you say to God it’s on account of you that we’re all being killed all day. We’re reckoned as slaughtered sheep rise up. Why are you asleep? Lord, wake up. Don’t reject us like we’re a pool of blood. Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction? Is that how we talk to God? He’s
. No. But here’s a song where God says bring it on. Yeah. You can. You know, I That’s how you feel. Put it on the table. Yeah. Be sensible.
Is this then,
Or even be sensible.
But there, there was a period while I was teaching where there were students who would pray in a way where they’re like, I’m claiming this promise type of stuff. How does that relate to this? Cuz there’s an element in here where they’re kind of saying to God, you know, in the past you did this, your covenant says this, I’m suffering. What are you doing? Yeah. Wake up. Do what you said you’d do. Yeah. Right’s not, and it’s fairly strong language.
It’s not claiming the promise , it’s just screaming.
Yeah. And I think that that’s my point. That the language is desperate language of the Bible and the language of the Psalms is as in your face and down in like, say down in the mud and the blood and the beer. It, it, it’s the rawness of how we really do feel without the mask. Yeah. And we can take the mask off because God sees our hearts and he’s big enough to handle that. So here we are and we are asking questions. We know the answer to them. You know, God’s not asleep. You know, we read one King’s 18 Baal is asleep, he’s gone to the blue. You know, but not Yahweh zap comes down the lightning. We know this Yahweh we know our father. and so we can say to him, you know, , what’s going on? Yeah. but not just what’s going on.
Can you please make it stop? You know, I, I remember, you know, my mum in her eighties had a fall and she broke her elbow and I took her to hospital and she’s laying there and they haven’t given her any painkillers. She’s just laying there with this broken bone and she’s in her eighties and she’s saying, please, over and over please God, make it stop. And you go, you can do that. Where are you? Come on. You can say that to God. And sometimes we need to because that’s, we are being sensible. We’re not putting on a mask. We’re not being fake. We’re not trying to
or presumptuous. We’re not saying, you know, you made a promise. You are breaking it. Mm-hmm. , we’re not doing that. We, we are just putting it out there because we trust him and we know that he loves us and we know that he’s going to listen to this. and you know, if, and sometimes we know that he’s gonna say no. I mean, if he said no to Jesus, cuz he’s got a bigger plan. Yeah. I’ve gotta wear that doesn’t mean I stopped screaming. Cause it that elbow still hurts . You know, that person who hurt me still hurts. Yeah. he knows that.
Yeah. So Psalm forty- four then very much a like the other one, the maskil, that was ma maskil that’s the right. Very much a sensible but real life type prayer that comes up.
And the last, the last word of this son, ransom for the sake of your covenant faithfulness. That’s a way of saying you promised. Hmm. I’m waiting. I’m trusting and I’m screaming. . Yeah.
All right. Well that brings us to the end of this episode. If you’d like to grab the study notes for this episode, you can head over to training for life redeem.com/ 100. We’ve hit the hundred mark. thank you so much for coming and joining us. We will continue to look at Psalms next week. I hope you enjoyed looking at Psalm 44 with us.