Something of which to Boast

“In God we boast all day long, and praise your name forever.” (Psalm 44:8)

The psalmist wrote these words after reviewing Israel’s history. In particular, he had reminisced on the biblical record of the events surrounding Israel’s entrance into Canaan. This would have included the exodus from Egypt under Moses’ leadership and the entrance into Canaan under Joshua’s leadership.

The psalmist acknowledges that the great victories along the way and the expulsion of the inhabitants of Canaan were by the hand of the Lord. There were so many memorable miracles and victories that provoke worship of the Lord. There were occasions where all Israel did was “watch and see the salvation of the Lord.” They didn’t even have to lift a finger on some occasions. Generally, though, there was a cooperation or moving together of man and God.

Now that Israel was in the land all credit must go to the Lord who brought them out of slavery into His liberty. The Lord had delivered them in the past – so they could be confident He would do so again in the future, and would fulfil His Covenant with Abraham.

At the time of writing this Psalm, Israel was in disarray, having been plundered by its enemies and made a reproach among nations. The other nations made scorn of them and derided them and Israel was greatly dishonoured.

The ungodly were prospering and mocking those who remained faithful to the Lord. Israel as a nation had turned away from the Lord but there was still (as always) a remnant of faithful people in Israel. This faithful remnant bore the brunt of the mockery, because they continued to confess the God of Israel as God of all; yet the condition of the nation denied that their God had any strength.

We live in a similar world today. The ungodly seem to prosper even though they shake the fist at God and, in one way or another, ridicule true believers. Believing Jews are similarly mocked by other Jews for believing that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the Covenant.

We may well, with the psalmist, wonder why God does not intervene, why He “hides His face” and leaves us apparently at the mercy of the ungodly. Of course, it is only a short while until the Lord comes for us and delivers Israel once again. He will vindicate our faith and that of the believing remnant of Israel with great splendour and power.

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