QUESTION: A friend of mine was working on a traditional interpretation for one of his courses in his Master of Divinity Program. I wanted to share with him the metaphysical interpretation.
COMMENT: It's helpful to compare Psalm 44 with Psalm 46, which follows shortly after. The first is a prayer for divine intercession after a national defeat. The second is a hymn of praise after a victory. The presumption is that God is present in the victory, and God is deliberately absent in the defeat. But if God is a Power of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, how could that Power be said to be absent anywhere? How could there be a place—even a battlefield—where God is not?
It is, as it was then, easy to rejoice in the presence of God when things are going our way. When we remember, as Psalm 46 reminds us, to "Be still and know that I am God," we align ourselves with divine Power, and that alignment expresses through us as a sense of confidence and mastery in whatever challenges we may be facing. And when we are facing disappointments and a sense of defeat, it is tempting to assume that God has “left the building”—that the Power we had relied on has abandoned us. In truth, of course, God has gone nowhere. It is we who have shifted our focus, left our commitment to expressing divine Power, and turned instead to human concerns. Asking God to "Rise up, come to our help" (Psalm 44:26) simply reinforces a victim consciousness that denies personal responsibility for the negative energies we're experiencing. It is we who must rise up, reaffirm our Oneness with the divine, and allow the Power of God to lead us forward.