1a) Psa 44:1, The help and redemption of YHVH in our fathers’ day;
1b) Psa 44:1-3, YHVH afflicted the peoples and cast them out of His Land;
1c) Psa 44:4, You are my King, O God;
1d) Psa 44:5-7, You prevail over our enemies + put to shame those who hated us;
central axis) Psa 44:8, In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever;
2d) Psa 44:9-16, You make us turn back from our enemies + put us to shame;
2c) Psa 44:17-22, We have not forgotten You or forsaken Your covenant;
2b) Psa 44:23-25, Do not forget the affliction and oppression of Your people;
2a) Psa 44:26, Arise for our help, and redeem us in our day.
There are five books of Psalms, just as there are five books of Torah. One Torah portion is read each Sabbath, so that the entire Torah is read in the assembly in a continuous cycle. In the triennial Torah cycle, the Torah is read through in three years, for approximately 150+ readings, depending on how many leap years are in that cycle. In the triennial Torah cycle, a psalm is read or sung corresponding to each Torah reading, for approximately 150+ psalms (some long psalms are divided into more than one reading). The psalms, matched with each Torah reading, progress sequentially through the five books of the Psalms in order, just as the Torah progresses sequentially in order. It is an amazing thing that each psalm “speaks” to each Torah portion.
Psalm 44 is puzzling, as it seems to be the first Psalm without a hopeful conclusion. I looked up its corresponding Torah portion on the triennial Torah cycle. It is Exo 6:2-7:7. The context is that Moses, after being called by God to speak to Pharaoh, meets with the elders of Israel and they receive hope that the Lord is going to deliver them from their cruel bondage. Moses then speaks to Pharaoh to let the people go, and Pharaoh haughtily responds that he does not know who this YHVH is, and he will not let the people go. He retaliates by increasing their work: refusing to supply them with the necessary straw for brick making, but demanding the same quota of bricks from them as before. The Hebrews cry out against Moses, and Moses cries out to the Lord, Why have You sent me? For I have done what You said, but things have only gotten worse, and You have not delivered Your people at all.
What we do not see yet until the next few Torah portions and their Psalter readings beyond Psalm 44, is that God begins to act on His people’s behalf with the famous ten plagues upon on the Egyptians. At the end, His people are indeed delivered from cruel bondage and set free with a great deliverance.
The lesson is that we may have a promise from God, but things may get worse before they get better. Circumstances may take a turn for the worse, and everything might begin to look like the shadow of death, in fact. However, whatever God has promised, always comes to pass! He is good for His word! He has not abandoned you to your enemy (whatever that is). Continue to trust and obey, and He will bring it to pass. ♥