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Sermon on Psalm Forty Four

Sermon on Psalm Forty Four

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Published by glennpease
W. J. STRACEY

' ' We have heard with our ears, God, our fathers have told us, what
Thou hast done in their time of old ; heno Thou hast driven out the
heathen with Thy hand, and planted them in : how Thou hast de-
stroyed the nations, and cast them out. For they gat not the land in
possession through their own sword: neither was it their own arm that
helped them ; but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of
Thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favour towards them".

Psalm xliv. 1-4.
W. J. STRACEY

' ' We have heard with our ears, God, our fathers have told us, what
Thou hast done in their time of old ; heno Thou hast driven out the
heathen with Thy hand, and planted them in : how Thou hast de-
stroyed the nations, and cast them out. For they gat not the land in
possession through their own sword: neither was it their own arm that
helped them ; but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of
Thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favour towards them".

Psalm xliv. 1-4.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 31, 2013
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SERMO O PSALM FORTY FOUR W. J. STRACEY' ' We have heard with our ears, God, our fathers have told us, whatThou hast done in their time of old ; heno Thou hast driven out theheathen with Thy hand, and planted them in : how Thou hast de-stroyed the nations, and cast them out. For they gat not the land inpossession through their own sword: neither was it their own arm thathelped them ; but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favour towards them".Psalm xliv. 1-4.1 1 ^HE expression here, so well known from the wordsbeing repeated in the suffrages of the Litany, " Weheard with our ears, God," is only a Hebrew mode of expressing the more clearly and certainly any fact. Aswhen in the 35th Psalm we read, "We saw it with oureyes ;" or in Acts vii. 34, God is made to say, " I haveseen, I have seen the affliction of my people," it is verymuch the same as if the words stood, " I have surelyseen and noticed the affliction of my people." Bysome this whole 44th Psalm has been supposed tobelong to a later period than David's time, to whommost of the first seventy -two psalms, and many of those that follow, are attributed. Thus it has been sup-posed by some to refer especially to the great dangerJerusalem was in in the time of Hezekiah, when theTHE EXODUS. 1 8 1army of the Assyrians besieged it, and filled all thecountry round about, and Hezekiah sent to Isaiah toask his prayers and his advice. And thus it has beenattributed to Isaiah rather than to David ; and if sucha supposition is indeed true, we may then considerthis 44th Psalm to have been the prayer of Isaiah on
 
behalf of Hezekiah and Jerusalem in their distress.We know how soon and wonderfully that prayer wasanswered ; for God sent forth an Angel, who then slewin one night one hundred and eighty-five thousand menof the Assyrian army, so that in the morning they wereall dead corpses. But whether this was the occasion ornot of this psalm, we may be quite sure that Israelwould continually look back, under any peculiar cir-cumstances and difficulties, to the wonders and thedeliverances God had wrought for them in formergenerations of old time. It was but natural that theywould look back in times of danger and trial, andthink of and recount to others the great things Godhad done for His own people from time to time. " Wehave heard with our ears, God, our fathers havetold us, what Thou hast done in their time of old."The great deliverance from Egypt was the one specialcircumstance to which the minds of all generationsreverted again and again. Their whole history as anation was founded upon that; and when we think of the preservation of Moses, of the burning bush, of theten plagues of Egypt, ending with the death of the1 82 PSALM XLIV.first-born in every house ; the pillar of cloud by day,of fire by night ; the passage of the Red Sea by Israelin safety, with the destruction of Pharaoh and all hishosts ; then the marvellous supply of food which felleach night for forty years from heaven, and of waterout of the stony rock which was smitten — these greatevents would stand out in their nation's memory andrecords like the great features of a grand picture, whichwe look at and hardly notice the less important pointsin it. Thus in the 105th 'Psalm we have their history,beginning with Joseph : " He had sent a man beforethem, even Joseph, who was sold to be a bond-servant ;whose feet they hurt in the stocks : the iron entered
 
into his soul ; until the time came that his cause wasknown : the word of the Lord tried him ;" ending withthis sentence, " And He brought forth His people with joy, and His chosen with gladness." So again in thevery next psalm to that (106th) we find allusion againmade to these old events in Israel's history : " Ourfathers regarded not Thy wonders in Egypt, neitherkept they Thy great goodness in remembrance : butwere disobedient at the sea, even at the lied Sea. . . .He rebuked the sea also, and it was dried up : so Heled them through the deep, as through a wilderness. . . .And they forgat God their Saviour, who had done sogreat things in Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and fearful things by the Red Sea."But, brethren, these things belong not to Israel only,WHAT GOD HAS DOE I OUR DAY. l8jbut to all the people of God of all times and all lands.And not only so, but there is a spiritual or Christianinterpretation to be put upon all these old events, asboth S. Paul and S. Peter state in their epistles ; andbesides all this, we have the daily mercies of Godcontinued and multiplied around us during eighteenhundred years, since man's Kedemption by Jesus Christ.True, Israel arose from one great forefather, Abraham,and spread and grew into a mighty nation, marvellouslyguided and marvellously preserved, till in the rejectionof Christ their national existence was put an end to,and they became a people scattered and wandering overall lands, exiled from their own.But how marvellous a history is the rise and spreadof the Church of Christ! When the seed was firstsown, it was the smallest of all seeds. Its Founderhad been crucified, and all His first followers werepersecuted and martyred one by one. Still, as the

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