We are not told either who was the penmen of this psalm or when and upon what occasion it was penned, upon a melancholy occasion, we are sure, not so much to the penman himself (then we could have found occasions enough for it in the history of David and his afflictions), but to the church of God in general; and therefore, if we suppose it penned by David, yet we must attribute it purely to the Spirit of prophecy, and must conclude that the Spirit (whatever he himself had) had in view the captivity of Babylon, or the sufferings of the Jewish church under Antiochus, or rather the afflicted state of the Christian church in its early days (to which Ps. 44:22 is applied by the apostle, Rom. 8:36), and indeed in all its days on earth, for it is its determined lot that it must enter into the kingdom of heaven through many tribulations. And, if we have any gospel-psalms pointing at the privileges and comforts of Christians, why should we not have one pointing at their trials and exercises? It is a psalm calculated for a day of fasting and humiliation upon occasion of some public calamity, either pressing or threatening. In it the church is taught, I. To own with thankfulness, to the glory of God, the great things God has done for their fathers, Ps. 44:1-8. II. To exhibit a memorial of their present calamitous estate, Ps. 44:9-16. III. To file a protestation of their integrity and adherence to God notwithstanding, Ps. 44:17-22. IV. To lodge a petition at the throne of grace for succour and relief, Ps. 44:22-26. In singing this psalm we ought to give God the praise of what he has formerly done for his people, to represent our own grievances, or sympathize with those parts of the church that are in distress, to engage ourselves, whatever happens, to cleave to God and duty, and then cheerfully to wait the event.
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