Daily Devotional: Psalms 44:9-16
9 But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. 10 You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. 11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. 12 You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale. 13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. 14 You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us. 15 My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
The Psalmist has just rehearsed how God had made a great nation of his people and had blessed him individually. Now he turns to a lament about how it seems that God has rejected them, and for no cause. He is not accusing God but rather, he is seeking for answers and longing to see God back in their lives.
Paul was in prison for preaching the gospel. In our reading, he laments that some are preaching the gospel with bad motives. They seek to do him harm and to hurt the cause of Christ, for which he had given his life. He does not understand why, any more than the Psalmist did in his case, but he is willing to trust God and to rejoice, even in the midst of his trials. He knows God is working, even when he can’t see him or what he is doing, so he trusts him for the outcome.
It is in this setting that Paul writes from his prison cell and says that we are to “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice!” No matter what happens to us or what we face, we can trust God to see us through and then to use it for our ultimate good. To God be the glory, great things he has done!
Thank you, God for your wonderful love, your constant care and your providence that directs my life every day. You, O God, are not only the giver of life, but you are my constant source of strength. Thank you for my physical health. As I get older, I am more aware of my aches and pains, but I know you will see me through each day as you have always done for me. As my body wears out, help me be renewed in my spirit so I will be better fitted to be with you in eternity. Use me to help others as they seek to serve you. I pray in the name of Jesus my Lord.