David's grandparents faithfully kept God's instruction to teach their children of His deliverance. Exodus 13:14 says "And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.'" Deuteronomy 6:7 says, "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
I was curious how long they had been faithful. In Numbers 7:11, the first of the twelve Israelite chiefs to bring the identical offering for the dedication of the altar was Nahshon from the tribe of Judah. In Matthew 1:1-16, the lineage of Jesus, Nahshon is listed. From Nahshon to David, five generations had faithfully told their children of the LORD's deliverance.
That seems like a long time. Then Carol mentioned we could easily have five generations in our family. Carol's mother is still alive, and if either of our oldest grandchildren, who are 20 and 24, had a child, we would have five living generations. Just as David reaped the benefit of his grandparent's faithfulness, I pray ours will, too.
As I thought of David's ancestors (Matthew 1:4-6), I realized what great stories his grandparents must have told him. One of his grandfathers was one of the two spies Joshua sent in to check out Jericho. One of his grandmothers was a Moabite, who left everything to come to Israel. Wouldn't you love to hear their adventures?
But notice David recounts his forefathers telling him of God's faithfulness, not the stories of their lives. For eight verses, David reminds God of all He accomplished with His hand, arm and the light of His face. "You are my King, O God; ordain salvation for Jacob!" David learned deliverance is from the LORD, not his bow or sword. His trust is in God, and his thanks are to His name.
For the next eight verses, David reminds God, the One who delivered the Israelites by driving out nations and planted his forefathers, what He is doing to the children of Israel now. Notice how many times David says "You." In verse 17, David says all this has happened to us, but we have not forgotten You, we have not broken Your covenant, our hearts and feet have not strayed. If we had gone after other gods, You would know because You know the secrets of our hearts. David's final description is of the people as slaughtered sheep for His sake. After asking God why, David pleads with Him to redeem the people because of His steadfast love.
Psalm 44 appears to be dreadful, but look at what David is doing. He begins and ends in hope because of who he knows God to be. May I always be as hopeful no matter the situation in which the LORD has me.
Romans 8:36-37 contains one of my favorite descriptions of the church. In verse 36 Paul quotes Psalm 44:22, "For your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered sheep to be slaughtered." Verse 37 says, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Roy's translation is "It may appear we are just sheep for slaughter but in Christ Jesus who loves us, we are conquering sheep." Somewhat of an oxymoron, but we who are in Christ are "Conquering Sheep."
Father God, it is Your steadfast love that endures and plants Your children. May our generation be as Nahshon's generation, faithful to tell of Your greatness. May our children's children and beyond know Your faithfulness because we persistently spoke of Your excellence and greatness.