The Story of Psalm 44
We do not know who wrote Psalm 44. We do not know when they wrote it. When we read the psalm, two things are clear:
· someone had hurt the Jews
· the Jews had done nothing wrong.
We do not know when this happened. Perhaps it was when David was king, or up to 500 years after.
What Psalm 44 means
The psalm is in 3 parts. Verses 1 - 8 tell us what God did for the Jews when they came into their country. It was not the Jews that won the land for them, but God. His hand (verses 2 and 3) and his arm (verse 3) mean "what God did". (Some Christians say that God’s hand is "the *Holy Spirit" and his arm is Jesus.) The "light on your face" (verse 3) means ‘the good way that God looked at people so that he did good things for them’. The enemies of the Jews were the people that lived in the land before they did.
But in verses 9 to 22 we read that something bad has happened.
The Jews had done nothing wrong, but their enemies had done bad things to them. This often happens to Christian people. Why does God let it happen? He does it to make his people strong. Sheep were animals that people killed for the meat. "Thrown us into other countries" means "put us in countries where we did not live before". The *covenant in verse 17 is what God agreed to do if his people obeyed him. Here, in verses 17-22, the people are saying that they kept their part of the *covenant, but God did not keep his. In other words, they obeyed God, but he did not care for them. We often feel *like this. When it happens we must remember that:
· God lets it happen to make us strong
· we must go on believing in God.
It happened to Jesus, and we must be *like him!
In verses 23-26 the person that wrote the psalm prays. He (or she) asks God to wake up and send help! Whatever happens, we must always ask God to send help!
Something to do
Listen to the news on the radio or watch it on the television. When you hear about or see bad things happening to people, pray for them. If they are God’s people, pray harder! It does not mean that they are bad people, but it does mean that God is wanting to make them stronger.
A Love Song
Jesus said, "At midnight somebody shouted, Look, the bridegroom is coming. Go out and meet him". (Matthew 25:6) (This is part of a story that Jesus told about a marriage. The bridegroom is the man getting married.)
(This is) for the music leader.
(It is) for the *sons of Korah.
(It is) a *maskil and a love song.
(Sing it) to (music that they call) "*lilies".
(Words that the *psalmist says:)
v1 These good words make my *heart very happy.
I will say these verses to the king.
My *tongue is *like the pen of someone that writes easily.
(Words that the *psalmist says to the king:)
v2 You are the most beautiful man (that there is).
You speak words of *grace.
God has made you special *for ever.
v3 Wear your *sword by your side.
(You are) the *Mighty One.
(You are) great and (you are) the king!
v4 (Because you are) the king,
ride out and beat (all your enemies).
Then (people that are) honest and *meek and *righteous
will always win.
Your right hand will show you
that you can do things that (make people) afraid.
v5 Your sharp *arrows will cut into the *heart of the king’s enemies.
*Nations will fall down under your (feet).
v6 Your *throne, God, will go on *for ever and ever.
The *sceptre of your *kingdom will be a *righteous *sceptre.
v7 You have loved things that are *righteous
and you have *hated things that are *wicked.
So God, your God, has put you above the people that are with you.
He did this by putting some *oil on you, which made you happy.
v8 All your clothes (smell) of *myrrh, aloes and cassia.
The (beautiful) *ivory in big houses
(and the music that you hear from them) makes you happy.
v9 Among your great women are the daughters of kings.
Your *queen stands at your right hand.
(She is wearing) gold from *Ophir.
(Words that the *psalmist says to the *queen:)
v10 Daughter, listen (to me).
Hear (what I am saying) and think about it.
Forget your people and your father’s house.
v11 You are beautiful and so the king loves you.
He is your *lord, so *worship him, (v12) daughter from Tyre.
v12 Rich people will make you happy with gifts.
v13 The daughter of the king is beautiful inside.
They made what she wore out of cotton made from gold.
v14 They led her to the king in her beautiful clothes.
The girls that were her friends followed her.
v15 They came in with *joy and were very happy
as they entered the king’s *palace.
(Words that the king says to the *queen; or the *psalmist says to the king:)
v16 You will have sons instead of fathers.
You will make them *princes over all the land.
v17 I will make sure that people always remember your name.
So, people will *praise you *for ever and ever.
The Story of Psalm 45
The famous English author, C. S. Lewis, wrote that some of the psalms meant two things. He also wrote that Psalm 45 was a good example of this. What did C. S. Lewis mean? He thought that Psalm 45 meant one thing before Jesus came to the earth and something else after he came!
1. Before Jesus came to the earth, it meant this. The king in verses 2-9 was the king of Judah or Israel. He was the *messiah. The words "did this by pouring *oil over" in verse 7 are "*messiahed" in Hebrew! They poured *oil (from the fruit of a tree we call the olive) over him when he became king. All the kings of Judah and Israel were God’s *messiahs.
The *queen in verses 10-15 was the woman that the king married. Some Bible students think that the *sons of Korah sang Psalm 45 when King Solomon married his *queen. Others think that they sang it every time a king married. The "*sons of Korah" were the people that sang in the *Temple. The *Temple was the house of God. King Solomon built the *Temple in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah.
2. After Jesus came to the earth it meant something else. This is a more important meaning for Christians. They think that verses 2-9 describe Jesus, the King of kings. Verses 10-15 describe the Church, all Christians.
A few Christians think that the psalm only means one thing. They think that:
· the king in verses 2-9 is always God
· the *queen in verses 10-15 is always God’s people.
God’s people were the Jews in the Old Testament, and are Christians in the New Testament and after. They think this because all through the Bible marriage is a picture of God as husband and his people as his wife.
This shows us that Psalm 45 is not a simple psalm. We must never think that we understand it completely. God will always have something new to say to us through it!