Psalm 1: Title

What should we learn from history? Why is that important?

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Psalm 44:1 To the minister of music, a song for Korah’s people.
With our ears turned to the words of our ancestors, we heard what miraculous work you did long ago.
King James
Psalm 44:1 <To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.> We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

Why might people have thought their victories came through their own strength, not from God?

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Psalm 44:2–3 You drove out the foreigners so your people could possess the land. Your favor, not our ancestors’ physical strength and power of the sword, saved them from their enemies.
Philippians 4:13 In all situations, no matter how little or how much I have, I must depend on Christ for my strength and guidance.
King James
Psalm 44:2–3 How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Why should we have more confidence in God’s direction than in our strength and strategy?

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Psalm 44:4–6 My God and King, by your command the descendants of Jacob gain the victory. By your power, we bring down our enemies. Under your direction and authority, we trample those who oppose us.
I don’t trust my weapons. My sword alone won’t save me.
King James
Psalm 44:4–6 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

What might make it difficult for people to praise God every moment of every day?

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Psalm 44:7–8 You delivered us from our enemies. You shamed those who hated us.
Every moment of the day, we recognize God’s greatness and can’t exhaust our gratitude as we praise him forever. Pause to meditate on that.
King James
Psalm 44:7–8 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Why does God fight for some and not for others?

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Psalm 44:9–11 When you don’t fight with us, Lord, we are rejected and ashamed. We were forced to retreat, and our enemies take what they want. Without your guidance, we were scattered like sheep among foreigners.
Romans 8:31 What does all this mean to us? With God fighting for us, we cannot lose as long as we maintain our desire to please him.
King James
Psalm 44:9–11 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

What should we do if we are embarrassed by our enemies?

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Psalm 44:12–16 You sold your people for nothing and gained nothing from the sale. Our neighbors see us as fools, insulting and making fun of us. They shake their heads and laugh as if we were some kind of joke. I am too embarrassed to show my face and listen to my adversaries’ taunts and insults.
King James
Psalm 44:12–16 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price. Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

If God doesn’t seem to have kept his side of the agreement, why should we?

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Psalm 44:17–18 Despite all that has come upon us, we have not forgotten you. We still keep the provisions of our agreement. We’ve not lost heart, turning back, but continue to follow you step by step.
King James
Psalm 44:17–18 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;

How does God’s treatment of us compare with our expectation?

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Psalm 44:19 Would you crush us before the wild animals and bring us near to death?
King James
Psalm 44:19 Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

When people lose sight of God’s greatness, what “strange gods” might they have allegiance to?

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Psalm 44:20–21 We’ve not forgotten your greatness nor have we turned our hearts to strange gods. You know that’s true, God, for you know the secrets hidden in our hearts.
King James
Psalm 44:20–21 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

If death is inevitable, why aren’t people better prepared for it?

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Psalm 44:22–23 Like sheep destined for slaughter, we don’t know the day when we will die. Yes, God. For your sake we face the threat of death all the time, like sheep destined to be sacrificed.
King James
Psalm 44:22–23 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.

Why might people think God has turned away, when he really hasn’t?

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Psalm 44:24 Why turn away and ignore our pain and suffering?
King James
Psalm 44:24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?

What are the blessings of a long life? How might that be a curse?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 44:25–26 Why turn away and ignore our pain and suffering? 25 Our lives aren’t far from the grave. Our bodies are soon to be buried.
Arise to help us, Lord. Have mercy because of your unconditional love.
King James
Psalm 44:25–26 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.