Someone has wryly noted that “it is hard to see the big picture when you’re inside the frame.” Because of our extremely limited perspective, life does not always make sense to us. This was the case for the penman of Psalm 44.
As the writer reviews the past, he sees victory. “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us the deeds You did in their days, in days of old: You drove out the nations with Your hand, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them. You are my King, O God; command victories for Jacob. Through You we will push down our enemies; through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies and have put to shame those who hated us” (vv. 1-7). Therefore, “in God we boast all day long and praise Your name forever” (v. 8).
As the writer views the present, he sees defeat and despair. “But You have cast us off and put us to shame, and You do not go out with our armies. You make us turn back from the enemy, and those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves. You have given us up like sheep intended for food and have scattered us among the nations. You sell Your people for next to nothing and are not enriched by selling them. You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to those all around us. You make us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the peoples. My dishonor is continually before me, and the shame of my face has covered me, because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles, because of the enemy and the avenger. All this has come upon us” (vv. 9-17).
But, this is where the wheels all fall off. “All this has come upon us; but we have not forgotten You, nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from Your way; but You have severely broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. If we had forgotten the name of our God or stretched out our hands to a foreign god, would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart. Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (vv. 17-22).
There may be times in life when it seems that Jehovah is asleep or that He has cast off His people, or He is playing a dispiriting game of cosmic hide-and-seek, or He has had amnesia (vv. 23-24). It feels like your soul is bowed down to the dust and your body clings to the ground (v. 25).
What do you do?
Persevere in your faith, continue to entreat Jehovah to arise for your help and your redemption (v. 26). And, as Winston Churchill once famously said, “Never give in. Never, never, never—in nothing great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.
When life does not make sense is the wrong time to abandon your faith in Jehovah.