“For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them.” Psalm 44:3
Eleven of the psalms are written by the sons of Korah. The Korahites were the descendants of one of the three families or clans within the tribe of Levi. In the days of the wilderness wandering they were responsible for the care and transportation of the tabernacle furniture, including the ark of the covenant. Later generations became known for their musical abilities and these psalms are a sample of their talent.
Psalm forty-four is one of the psalms written by the sons of Korah. This psalm expresses great confidence in God, remembering his might and his care in the past. Within the psalm there’s a longing for God’s presence, protection and favor. The writer is devoted to God and yearns, on behalf of the children of Israel, for the kind of relationship that they enjoyed during the exodus and their entrance into Canaan.
Our focus text beautifully sums up the importance of God’s actions during these years, “For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them.”
It’s easy to appreciate God’s actions when they result in our defense and when he goes before us to win victories for us, but it’s much harder to accept with faith God’s will when it results in hardship, humiliation, and dishonor for us. We want clear sky’s, victories and prosperity and seem to think that when God is on our side and we’ve been faithful to him that that’s exactly what we can expect. But friends God’s will for us isn’t worked in our lives through good times alone. Some things can only be achieved for us by the experience of difficulty.
The apostle James realized this and wrote about it in his letter to the church, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2–3). The apostle Paul experienced this reality in his personal walk with Christ and wrote, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Rejoicing in trials is a mark of great faith and trust in God. Anyone can easily accept the obvious blessings with rejoicing but it takes great humility and trust to joyfully follow Christ down a path leading through pain and hardship.
O God give me the faith I need today. Keep me humble and faithful in the presence of your blessings and make me joyful and content when trials best work your will in my life.