Psalm 44:4
You are my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Thou art my King.—Literally, Thou, He, my king, an idiomatic way of making a strong assertion, Thou, even thou, art my king, O God. (Comp. Isaiah 43:25.) What God has done in the past may be expected again, and for a moment the poet forgets the weight of actual trouble in the faith that has sprung from the grateful retrospect over the past.

Psalm 44:4-8. Thou art my king, O God — And thou, O God, who didst such astonishing things for them, art still the very same almighty Being, whom I honour as my sovereign, my governor, and protector. The whole people speak as one man, being united together in one body. Command — That is, effectually procure by thy commanding word, deliverances for Jacob — For the posterity of Jacob, the Israelites. Through thee will we push down our enemies — Hebrew, ננגח, nenaggeeach, cornu feriemus, we will smite with the horn, that is, subdue and destroy them. The phrase is taken from Deuteronomy 33:17, and alludes to cattle pushing with their horns. As if he had said, If thou wouldst but appear for us, the most powerful enemies would not be able to stand before us. Through thy name will we tread them under — That is, by the help of thy power. I will not trust in my bow — I have no confidence in my arms, but in thee only, (as the next verse implies,) and therefore do not frustrate my hope and expectation, placed only on thee. In God we boast all the day — In this we glory continually, that we have such a King, such a mighty Saviour and Deliverer, who has wrought such wonderful things for us and our forefathers.44:1-8 Former experiences of God's power and goodness are strong supports to faith, and powerful pleas in prayer under present calamities. The many victories Israel obtained, were not by their own strength or merit, but by God's favour and free grace. The less praise this allows us, the more comfort it affords, that we may see all as coming from the favour of God. He fought for Israel, else they had fought in vain. This is applicable to the planting of the Christian church in the world, which was not by any human policy or power. Christ, by his Spirit, went forth conquering and to conquer; and he that planted a church for himself in the world, will support it by the same power and goodness. They trusted and triumphed in and through him. Let him that glories, glory in the Lord. But if they have the comfort of his name, let them give unto him the glory due unto it.Thou art my King, O God - literally, "Thou art He, my King, O God;" that is, Thou art the same: the same King, and the same God, who didst interpose in the time of the fathers, and thou art he whom I recognize as King, as the Sovereign Ruler of thy people. The psalmist here uses the singular number, "my King," as expressive of his own feelings, though he doubtless means also to speak in the name of the people. It would seem not improbable from this, that the author of the psalm was the reigning monarch in the time of the troubles referred to. If not, it was evidently one who personated him, and who meant to represent his feelings. The language shows the strong confidence of the author of the psalm in God, and perhaps also is designed to express his personal responsibility at the time, and his consciousness that his only refuge in conducting the troubled affairs of the nation was God.

Command deliverances for Jacob - As if all was under His command, and He had only to give direction, and salvation would come. The word "Jacob" here is used to denote the descendants of Jacob, or the people of God. See the notes at Psalm 24:6.

4. Thou art my King—literally, "he who is my King," sustaining the same covenant relation as to the "fathers."4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

7 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Psalm 44:4

"Thou art my King, O God." Knowing right well thy power and grace my heart is glad to own thee for her sovereign prince. Who among the mighty are so illustrious as thou art? To whom, then, should I yield my homage or turn for aid? God of my fathers in the olden time, thou art my soul's monarch and liege Lord. "Command deliverances for Jacob." To whom should a people look but to their king? He it is who, by virtue of his office, fights their battles for them. In the case of our King, how easy it is for him to scatter all our foes! O Lord, the King of kings, with what ease canst thou rescue thy people; a word of thine can do it, give but the command and thy persecuted people shall be free. Jacob's long life was crowded with trials and deliverances, and his descendants are here called by his name, as if to typify the similarity of their experience to that of their great forefather. He who would win the blessings of Israel must share the sorrows of Jacob. This verse contains a personal declaration and an intercessory prayer; those can pray best who make most sure of their personal interest in God, and those who have the fullest assurance that the Lord is their God should be the foremost to plead for the rest of the tried family of the faithful.

Psalm 44:5

"Through thee will we push down our enemies." The fight was very close, bows were of no avail, and swords failed to be of service, it came to daggers drawing, and hand to hand wrestling, pushing and tugging. Jacob's God was renewing in the seed of Jacob their father's wrestling. And how fared it with faith then? Could she stand foot to foot with her foe and hold her own? Yea, verily, she came forth victorious from the encounter, for she is great at a close push, and overthrows all her adversaries, the Lord being her helper.

"Through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us." The Lord's name served instead of weapons, and enabled those who used it to leap on their foes and crush them with jubilant valour. In union and communion with God, saints work wonders; if God be for us, who can be against us? Mark well that all the conquests of these believers are said to be "through thee," "through thy name:" never let us forget this, lest going a warfare at our own charges, we fail most ignominiously. Let us not, however, fall into the equally dangerous sin of distrust, for the Lord can make the weakest of us equal to any emergency. Though today we are timid and defenceless as sheep, he can by his power make us strong as the firstling of his bullock, and cause us to push as with the horns of unicorns, until those who rose up against us shall be so crushed and battered as never to rise again. Those who of themselves can scarcely keep their feet, but like little babes totter and fall, are by divine assistance made to overthrow their foes, and set their feet upon their necks. Read Christian's fight with Apollyon, and see how

"The man so bravely played the man

He made the fiend to fly."

Psalm 44:6

"For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me." Thy people Israel, under thy guidance, shouldered out the heathen, and gained their land, not by skill of weapons or prowess of arms, but by thy power alone; therefore will we renounce for ever all reliance upon outward confidences, of which other men make such boast, and we will cast ourselves upon the omnipotence of our God. Bows having been newly introduced by king Saul, were regarded as very formidable weapons in the early history of Israel, but they are here laid aside together with the all-conquering sword, in order that there may be room for faith in the living God. This verse, in the first person singular, may serve as the confession of faith of every believer renouncing his own righteousness and strength, and looking alone to the Lord Jesus. O for grace to stand to this self-renunciation, for, alas! our proud nature is all too apt to fix its trust on the puffed-up and supposititious power of the creature. Arm of flesh, how dare I trust thee? How dare I bring upon myself the curse of those who rely upon a man?

continued...

My King; Jacob’s or Israel’s King, in a peculiar manner. The whole people speak like one man, as being united together in one body.

Command, i.e. effectually procure by thy commanding word. Thou art my King, O God,.... Besides the favours God had done for his people in time past, the church takes notice of her interest in God as her King, who was able to protect and defend her, and to deliver her out of all her distresses, in order the more to strengthen her faith and hope in him; and, claiming her interest in him, she draws nigh to him with an holy boldness, and desires him as a King, that by a word of his (for where the word of a king is, there is power) he would

command deliverances for Jacob; not literally, but mystically understood; the spiritual Jacob, and people of God; all Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile; meaning herself and members: the blessing desired is "deliverances", or "salvations"; so called, because the, deliverance or salvation the Lord commands grants, and works out for his people, is of different kinds, both spiritual and, temporal, and is a deliverance from various things; from sin, Satan, the present evil world, wrath to come, and all enemies; and out of various temptations and afflictions, and which follow successively one upon another; and at last it is complete and perfect.

Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for {g} Jacob.

(g) Because you are our king, therefore deliver your people from their misery.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. my King] Cp. Psalm 47:6; Psalm 74:12; 1 Samuel 12:12. The Psalmist speaks in the name of the nation. Cp. Psalm 44:6.

command] Cp. Psalm 42:8. It is the duty of a king to defend his people (1 Samuel 10:19); and the authority of the divine King is supreme. He has but to speak the word and it must needs be obeyed.

deliverances] R.V. deliverance, marg., victories (cp. Psalm 44:3). The Heb. word is plural, denoting deliverance full and complete. Cp. Psalm 18:50; Psalm 42:5 (note).

4–8. The recollection of the past gives confidence for the present and the future. God’s strength must still avail for the deliverance of His people, and in Him alone do they trust.Verse 4. - Thou art my King, O God; literally, thou art he that is my King, O God; i.e. I acknowledge no other king but thee, no other absolute lord and master. Command deliverances for Jacob. Being King, thou hast a right to command. We pray thee at this present time to command our deliverance. The Elohimic Judica (the introit of the so-called Cross or Passion Sunday which opens the celebritas Passionis), with which the supplicatory and plaintive first strophe of the Psalm begins, calls to mind the Jehovic Judica in Psalm 7:9; Psalm 26:1; Psalm 35:1, Psalm 35:24 : judge me, i.e., decide my cause (lxx κρῖνόν με, Symmachus κρῖνόν μοι). ריבה has the tone upon the ultima before the ריבי which begins with the half-guttural ר, as is also the case in Psalm 74:22; Psalm 119:154. The second prayer runs: vindica me a gente impia; מן standing for contra in consequence of a constr. praegnans. לא־חסיד is here equivalent to one practising no חסד towards men, that is to say, one totally wanting in that חסד, by which God's חסד is to be imitated and repaid by man in his conduct towards his fellow-men. There is some uncertainty whether by אישׁ one chief enemy, the leader of all the rest, is intended to be mentioned side by side with the unloving nation, or whether the special manner of his enemies is thus merely individualised. עולה means roguish, mischievous conduct, utterly devoid of all sense of right. In Psalm 43:2 the poet establishes his petition by a twofold Why. He loves God and longs after Him, but in the mirror of his present condition he seems to himself like one cast off by Him. This contradiction between his own consciousness and the inference which he is obliged to draw from his afflicted state cannot remain unsolved. אלהי מעזּי, God of my fortress, is equivalent to who is my fortress. Instead of אלך we here have the form אתהלּך, of the slow deliberate gait of one who is lost in his own thoughts and feelings. The sting of his pain is his distance from the sanctuary of his God. In connection with Psalm 43:3 one is reminded of Psalm 57:4 and Exodus 15:13, quite as much as of Psalm 42:9. "Light and truth" is equivalent to mercy and truth. What is intended is the light of mercy or loving-kindness which is coupled with the truth of fidelity to the promises; the light, in which the will or purpose of love, which is God's most especial nature, becomes outwardly manifest. The poet wishes to be guided by these two angels of God; he desires that he may be brought (according tot he Chethb of the Babylonian text יבואוני, "let come upon me;" but the אל which follows does not suit this form) to the place where his God dwells and reveals Himself. "Tabernacles" is, as in Psalm 84:2; Psalm 46:5, an amplificative designation of the tent, magnificent in itself and raised to special honour by Him who dwells therein.
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