Bible Reading Blog
“More Than Conquerors”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: Psalm 44
“...for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!” (Psalm 44.22-23)
Although the psalmist’s distress presents physically, his struggle is in the mind and spirit. What he believes about God appears incongruent with present circumstances. As God is his witness (Psalm 44.20-21) he has not forgotten the covenant (Psalm 44.17-18), and yet there appears to be a failure in God’s response to his suffering (Psalm 44.24-25).
In the OT, many of God’s promises were manifest in physical protection for his people (see Deuteronomy 33.29). In fact, this psalmist has not only heard of God’s actions (Psalm 44.1-3), but even experienced His salvation among God’s people (Psalm 44.4-8). It seemed fitting that God should do nothing but bless those who claim his name (Psalm 44.8). But instead God seems to have rejected these people (Psalm 44.9-16).
As the psalmist holds onto hope, he pleads for salvation and redemption (Psalm 44.23, 26). In this context, we are not given the immediate outcome of the psalmist’s situation; but God does not leave this as a loose end. Paul applies this psalm as he speaks of God’s ultimate vindication for the righteous.
“...If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (cf. Romans 8.31-37)
The suffering remains, but notice there is now a clear source of vindication in Christ. He is the hope in the struggle because, in him, one remains connected to God regardless of physical circumstances. Where the psalmist felt abandoned, believers today should feel confident that God has overcome the struggles of the world (John 16.33)
Suffering has always been a practicality for the believer (2 Timothy 3.12; 1 Peter 5.10), but so has dependence on God (Proverbs 3.5-6). These work together to mature our faith and spiritual focus (James 1.2-4, 12). Like this psalmist, there are times which appear bleak for believers; but God’s promise is never simply for the present. It is through these sufferings and for His sake, God will vindicate those who are faithful to him, in Christ (Psalm 44.17; Hebrews 11.6; 2 Peter 1.10).
Believers must live with this big-picture perspective. We must look back to what God has done (Romans 15.4) and consider our present circumstances in light of what God has promised will be (2 Peter 3.9-13) with the understanding that God’s work in our life is not finished in our present condition (Romans 8.19-25).
“Let us hold fast our confession of hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10.23)