Two million slaves flee their oppressors and walk a path through a parted sea to safety. They wander forty years in the desert, their needs supplied by God daily. They learn what it means to be God’s people, to know Him by name. When they reach the land of promise and freedom, they watch God defeat their enemies and they enjoy His rest.
Impossible with man.
Possible only by a covenant keeping God.
The stories of this miraculous journey and the faithfulness of God were told from generation to generation of God’s chosen people.
Psalm 44 opens with a remembrance of God’s past faithfulness and a declaration of faith in Him.
We have heard with our ears, O God;
our fathers have told us
what you did in their days,
in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the
nations and planted our fathers;
you crushed the peoples
and made our fathers flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
not did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.
You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
I do not trust my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever. (v. 1-8)
We have heard our fathers tell of Your faithfulness.
Your name brought them victory, not their strength or skills.
We trust You.
Psalm 44 goes on to describe the current circumstances for God’s people. Inexplicably, God has allowed His people to be scattered and defeated, scorned and disgraced, even though they remain faithful to Him.
All this happened to us,
though we had not forgotten you
or been false to your covenant.
Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path. (v. 17-18)
The God of the impossible is silent.
He can move the heart of kings.
He can part the Red Sea.
He can rain manna from heaven and provide water from rocks.
He can lead with fire and cloud.
He can cause walls to fall with a trumpet blast.
But He hasn’t today.
We can relate.
We trust God. We know His name. We know of His faithfulness, His unfailing love, and His miraculous works by reading His Word. And we have our own stories to tell of the impossible made possible by Him.
Painful things happen.
And the God of the impossible is sometimes silent.
But He hasn’t yet.
What can we do?
We can do what Job did when he lost everything – his wealth, his family, his health – without knowing why.
We can do what the psalmist did.
We can cry out to God.
Psalm 44 ends with an emotional plea for God’s help.
Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. (v. 23)
Rise up and help us;
redeem us because of your unfailing love. (v. 26)
We can remember God’s faithfulness in the past.
We can tell God we don’t understand our present.
We can plead our case before Him.
We can desperately cry out for help.
We can boldly ask for God to act based on His name and His unfailing love.
He is still the God of the impossible.
We can trust Him even when He is silent.
Father, You are Yahweh, the covenant keeping God. Your love never fails. Help me remember Your faithfulness in the past. Remind me that victory is not won by my strength, but by Your name. When I don’t understand why things happen, teach me to trust You more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.