We being today in Psalm 44. We have seen the Northern Kingdom come to an end at the hands of the Assyrians. Yet we know that God will preserve a remnant (see Amos 5:15). We know that the Southern Kingdom is going to soon be taken into captivity by Babylon. Yet God will preserve a remnant (2 Kings 19:30). This Psalm is a prayer by one of the remnant that went into captivity. They were swept away with the wicked, and this is a prayer for God to preserve them.
The Psalmist begins by recounting how God gave His people the Promised Land (44:1-3). The Psalmist has one King (v. 4). He does not trust in anything in the world, but only in God (vv. 5-8). But God has removed His grace from them (v. 9), and they have fallen to the enemy (v. 10) and gone into captivity among pagan nations (v. 11). God has utterly ruined Israel/Judah (vv. 12-16), even those who have not forsaken God (vv. 17-18). The Psalmist knows God knows his innocence (vv. 20-21). Yet he has been caught up in the wickedness of his people (v. 22). Paul quotes this verse in Romans 8:36. As Christians, we are not guaranteed anything in this world, even though we are guaranteed everything in the world to come. We will suffer in this world because of the wickedness of others, but we are still more than conquerors through Christ.
The Psalmist ends with a prayer for deliverance. He prays that God would not reject them forever, but act on their behalf (v. 23). We see that despair we looked at in the lament of Psalm 88 in verses 24-25. The idea of the Psalmist’s soul being bowed down to the dust and his belly clinging to the ground echoes the judgment language of Genesis 3:14. The Psalmist feels like God is judging him. Yet the Psalm does not end in lament. The Psalmist prays for God’s salvation for His own sake (v. 26).
Psalm 75 is a song of confidence in God’s justice. It begins with thanks to God for His presence and His works (75:1). In verses 2-5, God is speaking. There will be a time when justice will be fully done (v. 2), though God is the One Who preserves justice and order now (v. 3). He then warns the proud and the wicked not to exalt themselves (v. 5).
Verse 6-8 are a prophetic pronouncement by the Psalmist. There is nothing on earth that can exalt a man (v. 6). It is God alone Who both exalts and humiliates (v. 7 – see Matt 23:12). To exalt oneself is to bring judgment on oneself. All of the wicked (who are equated with the proud – see v. 4) will drink of the cup of the wrath of God (v. 8 – see Jer 25:15-16). The Psalm ends with praise unto God (v. 9), Who again promises that ultimately, justice will be done (v. 10).
Psalm 76 is a Psalm of praise to God for His greatness. The Psalmist says Judah knows God (76:1 – see Hos 4:1) and that His name is great – held in the highest esteem – in Israel. God has chosen to dwell in “Salem” (this is Jerusalem – see Gen 14:18), or Zion. God defeated His enemies in Jerusalem, a possible reference to the defeat of Sennacherib in 2 Kings 19:35-37. This is expounded in verses 4-6, where God is praised as a divine warrior. In verses 7-9, we see that God’s victory over human armies are acts of righteous judgment. For this judgment, God is to be praised (v. 10), to be obeyed (v. 11), and to be feared (v. 12).
As Christians, we should be ready to suffer in this life (Ps 44), knowing that God will judge justly in the end (Ps 75) and that He fights our battles for us (Ps 76).