Our fathers have told us the work that You did
Psalm 44 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
A Maskil of the sons of Korah.
O God, we have heard with our ears,
Our fathers have told us
The work that You did in their days,
In the days of old.
2 You with Your own hand drove out the nations;
Then You planted them;
You afflicted the peoples,
Then You spread them abroad.
3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.
are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.
5 Through You we will push back our adversaries;
Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor will my sword save me.
7 But You have saved us from our adversaries,
And You have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah.
9 Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor,
And do not go out with our armies.
10 You cause us to turn back from the adversary;
And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.
11 You give us as sheep to be eaten
And have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sell Your people cheaply,
And have not profited by their sale.
13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and a derision to those around us.
14 You make us a byword among the nations,
A laughingstock among the peoples.
15 All day long my dishonor is before me
And my humiliation has overwhelmed me,
16 Because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles,
Because of the presence of the enemy and the avenger.
17 All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You,
And we have not dealt falsely with Your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
And our steps have not deviated from Your way,
19 Yet You have crushed us in a place of jackals
And covered us with the shadow of death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of
Or extended our hands to a strange god,
21 Would not God find this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
22 But for Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not reject us forever.
24 Why do You hide Your face
And forget our affliction and our oppression?
25 For our soul has sunk down into the dust;
Our body cleaves to the earth.
26 Rise up, be our help,
And redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness.
The psalmist says: O God, we have heard with our ears, Our fathers have told us The work that You did in their days, In the days of old. You with Your own hand drove out the nations; Then You planted them; You afflicted the peoples, Then You spread them abroad. For by their own sword they did not possess the land, And their own arm did not save them, But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, For You favored them. How will the children of today and tomorrow know of the works of God if we, their fathers have not told them? There was a time when reverence for and declaring the greatness of God was deeply intrenched in nearly every aspect of our culture and society. Godly morals and Biblical accounts were part of our educational curriculum, they were included in entertainment, music and art. Today, even many people who attend church are unaware of more than a few Biblical accounts. For many their knowledge of Moses, Noah and Joseph are limited to what is depicted in Disney animation. It’s no wonder then that so many today say the Bible is nothing more than myths and legends.
The psalmist speaks of the difficulties they are going through and then says: If we had forgotten the name of our God Or extended our hands to a strange god, Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart. But for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not reject us forever. Why do You hide Your face And forget our affliction and our oppression? For our soul has sunk down into the dust; Our body cleaves to the earth. Rise up, be our help, And redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness. Those who have not heard of God’s goodness and greatness will not trust to call on His name. It is no wonder then that our nation does not know where to turn to change its troubled state. Not knowing God or having heard of His goodness and greatness, they trust in politicians, social activists and human philosophies and ideaologies. Our society and culture has so long embraced darkness because they have not known the light that now they call evil good and good evil. Unlike the psalmist, they have extended their hands to strange gods. In Romans 10:9-15 it says: If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? We cannot expect that those who do not know God will call upon Him. We cannot expect that those who have not heard of His goodness will turn to Him. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says: If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. It is up to us, the people who do know God; the people who are called by His name, to humble ourselves; to pray and seek the face of the Lord. God says it is His people who need to turn from their wicked ways. God’s people need not only to repent for the sins of the nation. We need to repent for allowing our nation to fall so deeply in sin. Even if we have not practiced lawlessness, we have allowed it. We have tolerated and even embraced it. James 4:17 says: To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. Those who are called by the name of Jesus need to repent for not doing what Jesus commanded. In Matthew 5:14-16 He said: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” In Matthew 28:18-20 He said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In Mark 16:15 Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” We need to repent of our sin of inactivity and apathy. It is not only preachers and missionaries Jesus has commanded and commissioned, but all of His disciples. If we will turn from our sin and pray, God will hear from heaven; forgive our sin and heal our land.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit forgive us for our sin of apathy and inactivity; that we knew the good we should do yet failed to do it. May we become those who tell this and future generations of Your goodness and greatness. May we be the light in this dark world and do the good works You have called us to that they might know what is good and turn to You. Heal our land as we humbly pray and seek Your face. Amen.