By Their Sword

Today's devotion from Psalms 42-44.

Psalm 44 presents us with a difficult situation. The psalmist speaks of the testimony of those who came before him. He remembers the stories of God's miraculous preservation of His people. In this, he knows for certain that it was God who orchestrated and ordained previous victories for His people.

He then moves on to the present. He serves God as his King. He realizes that their only hope for victory can come through God. They cannot trust in their own abilities. God must act on their behalf if they are to survive. Their swords and bows are uncertain at best, but God is sure and steadfast, faithful and true.

There is only one problem, God isn't saving them.

Their enemies are winning. The people are being forced to retreat. They are defeated and disgraced. They suffer even though, according to the psalmist, they are being faithful. That is saying something considering how unfaithful the Israelites were at times. Yet, the psalmist feels that he can profess innocence at this time. What is going on?

In short, we don't know. Yes. I know that you don't like this answer, but its the truth. We want to find answers to every question and truths to lead us toward prosperity, but the reality is that we often cannot know what God is doing until some unknown day in the future. Maybe they weren't being as faithful as the psalmist thought? Maybe God was allowing them to endure this period of trials for some greater purpose?  We just can't be certain.

There is, however, one surety in this situation. If their weapons of war weren't enough before, and their not enough now, then they will never be enough to rid them of their enemy. No. There is but one chance, one hope, and that is in God. For this reason, the psalmist doesn't give up on calling out to Him. If His people are to be spared, then He must move on behalf of His people. He is their only hope. He is our only hope.