English Basic Explanation - Chapter 44
Like the previous Psalms composed by (or for) the "children of Korah," Psalm 44 refers to the Jewish people's hardships in exile and prays to the Almighty for relief from their oppression.
It begins by reminiscing about Benei Yisrael's initial conquest of the land, acknowledging that it was achieved not through military might, but rather as a result of God's intervention (verses 2-4). The capture of Eretz Yisrael from the indigenous Canaanite peoples was no less formidable a task than defeating the Jewish nation's oppressors in exile. This chapter therefore invokes the memory of our ancient triumph over the Canaanites as a precedent for the miraculous salvation for which we pray in exile.
This chapter then proceeds to describe the distress and horrors suffered by the Jewish people, comparing them to sheep led to the slaughter (verses 12, 23) and emphasizing the humiliation and degradation that has been our lot in exile (verses 14-17). Towards the end of this chapter, the Psalmist exclaims that the Jewish people have reached the lowest possible point, bemoaning that our "souls" and our "bellies" have been lowered to the dust (verse 26).
Another point of emphasis in this Psalm is the Jews' steadfast loyalty and devotion to the Almighty despite the persecution to which He has subjected them. We continue to give praise to God "all day" and "forever" despite His having abandoned us (verses 9-10), and we remain committed to our covenant with Him regardless of the humiliation we suffer as a result (verse 18). And, during these periods of turmoil and suffering, we have turned only to Him in prayer, and not to any other so-called deity (verse 21).
This emphasis conveys the critical message that our devotion to God must remain absolutely unconditional. As we pray that He deliver us from our enemies and grant us blessing and success, we must affirm our commitment to continue serving Him even if He chooses not to grant our requests. This Psalm teaches that even when God appears to have abandoned us, we must nevertheless continue giving Him praise and steadfastly remain loyal to His covenant.