April 06 2023
Today, Thursday April 6
“But You Have Cast Us Off…”
“But You have cast us off and put us to shame, And You do not go out with our armies. You make us turn back from the enemy, And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves. You have given us up like sheep intended for food, And have scattered us among the nations. You sell Your people for next to nothing, And are not enriched by selling them. You make us a reproach to our neighbors, A scorn and a derision to those all around us. You make us a byword among the nations, A shaking of the head among the peoples.
My dishonor is continually before me, And the shame of my face has covered me, Because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles, Because of the enemy and the avenger.
What an interesting Psalm that seems to fit what has happened to our dear country today! We believe that this Psalm was written in the days of Hezekiah who was the king of Judah. Isaiah was prophesying that judgment was coming to the nation of Israel by way of the Assyrian armies just north of them. The unknown writer of this Psalm begins by remembering what their fathers had told them about the glorious establishment of Israel in the Promise Land (vv. 1-8).
When the leaders of the nation sought the LORD and His blessings, the nation enjoyed prosperity and protection. They were a nation that was envied by all the other nations of the world. This is the true story of American. America was founded upon Biblical and Christian principles and quickly became one the greatest nations in the history of the world. In the 1800’s someone said, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
One of the foremost constitutional theorists of the founding generation of our country, John Adams, observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He wasn’t the only Founding Father to hold this view. Indeed, James Madison wrote that our Constitution requires “sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”
When “every man begins to do what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), and there is no respect for God, no respect of others and property, no sense of self-restraint or self-responsibility, no respect for authority or the law, you will find lawlessness, violence, and anarchy.
Whenever I have read Psalm 44:9-16 over the past several years, I have immediately pictured how these verses describe America today. After the writer remembers in the first 8 verses how God bless and help them to become a great nation, he begins verse 9 with the word, “But”. “But You have cast us off and put us to shame….” In the next 6 verses, the writer acknowledges that it was “You” (God), that turn away from His people and His beloved nation and allowed their sins to catch up with them.
Notice the seven “You” statements: “You have cast us off and have put us to shame”. “You do not go out with our armies”. “You make us turn back from the enemy”. “You have given us up like sheep… and have scattered us among the nations.” “You sell your people for next to nothing”. “You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to those around us.” “You make us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the peoples.”
God really doesn’t have to judge us. All He has to do is take His hand of blessing and protection off of us! That is what happened to Israel in Hezekiah’s day and that is exactly what is happening to America today. The only answer and hope God gives us to this dilemma is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
My friend, it is not a good thing to be “cast off” from the Lord! May the Lord put the Spirit of humility, prayer, and repentance into the hearts of His people today!