July 14th Psalm 43
A man in exile
1: Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. 2: For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3: O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 4: Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. 5: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
To the chief musician,
For the sons of Korah, Maschil
A prayer for protection
1: 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. 2: How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. 3: 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. 4: Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. 5: Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. 6: For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. 7: But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. 8: In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. 9: But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. 10: Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. 11: Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. 12: Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price. 13: Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. 14: Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. 15: My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, 16: For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger. 17: All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. 18: Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way; 19: Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death. 20: If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; 21: Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. 22: Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. 23: Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. 24: Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? 25: For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. 26: Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.
To the chief musician, upon Shoshannim
Today we are reading two Psalms, No. 43 & 44. The first Psalm No, 43 expresses the same sentiments that we have heard before. It is a call upon the Lord for justice because the Psalmist is pleading righteousness under the Mosaic Law. He says be my advocate when ungodly men accuse me and deliver me from men who use deceit to unjustly accuse me. Because you are the God who strengthens me, why have you deserted me? Why am l mourning because of the oppression of my enemies? Lord send out knowledge and truth, may they guide me faithful to your holy hill and tabernacles, because then I will come to the Altar of the Lord and my heart will be overjoyed and I will sing on the harp and praise you. So why is my heart disturbed? I will put all my hope in the Lord and therefore I will yet praise him who is the very health of my face. The second Psalm No, 44 is dedicated to the sons of Korah. This Psalm is a similar theme expressing faith in the Lord and amazement that the Lord has not delivered them. He begins by describing the wilderness experience of Israel how that they were delivered by the hand of the Lord and not by human effort. The Psalmist says, you are our King – so command deliverance for us. We will not trust in ourselves but in you. We boast in you yet you have forsaken us – it appears. We are like sheep slaughtered for meat. Yet we have not forgotten you and we have been faithful to the Mosaic Covenant. We have been sorely broken down in the dens of dragons. You know the secrets of our hearts and because of you we are slaughtered all day long. Awake O LORD, do not forsake us forever. Why do you hide yourself from us? and forget our troubles and oppression? We are bowed right down into the dust and our bellies stick to the dust of the earth. Arise and help us, Redeem us out of your mercy. This Psalm has the postmark – To the chief Musician, upon Shoshannim