“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…” Psalm 44:1
It would seem we’re at a disadvantage. We have to listen and believe what we have heard. We don’t see truth by sight, but we hear of it and read of it in the pages of the love letter from God himself. We get to read about deeds performed. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Add to that, we read of testimonies throughout the Scriptures of people recounting his deeds of old.
We’ve heard what those who have gone before us have told us. Our God has performed deeds in the days of old. He drove out nations, afflicted enemies, set people free, and saved people by his own mighty arm and the beauty of the light of his face. He delighted in generations before us.
He delights in us, as well.
“You are my King, O God; ordain salvation… In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever.” Psalm 44:4, 8
It’s time to step out by faith and boast in God. It’s time to rehearse our gratitude at the recounting of deeds performed. We rise up in strength not our own. We push away the lies of our enemy and tread him down by faith. We simply refuse to falter.
We do not trust our strength, our bows, or our swords. Let’s add to that list our wealth or our intellect. He is the one who saves us from our enemy. Through faith I see a shamed enemy.
And yet. We feel the rejection, the disgrace, in the here-and-now. There’s a difference in winning the war but losing some battles. Brokenness is real and in force. We turn back from temporal foes. Like sheep ready for slaughter we are scattered seemingly helplessly. It’s as if we are sold into slavery. We are the taunt of our neighbors. Derision. Scorn. Laughingstock. Shamed.
Can you remain faithful through those deep waters? Your loss, the brokenness you face, is a test. Can we reply with David that we have not forgotten our God? Can we say that we have not been false to the covenant?
“…we have not been false to your covenant.” Psalm 44:17
What aspiration! Keep your heart set upon God. Do not take steps off of his prescribed path. In the face of the shadow of death forget not the name of God. Refuse to turn to any other God! In the innermost man, stay faithful. Verse twenty-two reminds us that he knows our hearts.
In fact, we are never more like our Savior than when we are being killed all the day long and when we are like sheep readied for slaughter.
In the middle of pain, it’s time to petition the Lord. It’s time to awaken him. It’s time to ask that he not reject us nor hide his face. It’s time to take our afflictions and oppression into his presence. When your soul is in the dust and your belly scrapes along the ground, it’s time to call on your God in faith. It’s time to beg him and ask that he rise up and redeem.
It’s time to stand firmly upon his steadfast love.
“Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!” Psalm 44:26