Midweek Devotion: Wednesday 23rd September 2020: Not on the losing side
Passage to look up: Psalm 44
Key verse for today: Psalm 44:22
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
Linked passage: Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 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? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Devotion: Not on the losing side
We don’t know much about the author of Psalm 44, although we are told in the introduction that he was a member of a group of poets / song writers called ‘the sons of Korah.’ What is clear is that he felt deeply let down and abandoned by God (you’ll see that if you read the Psalm through).
He looks back to the ‘glory days’ of the past when Israel was a mighty nation whom the Lord was pleased to save and bless.
But now, in the present, he feels that his nation has been ‘rejected’ and ‘disgraced’ by God (see 44:9). It felt like they were worthless and abandoned, ‘sheep to be slaughtered’ (44:22).
It is a feeling that would have resonated with the Israelites a number of times in their history, particularly during the period of their Exile (when the nation was taken as Prisoners of War into Babylon in 597-581 BC).
With that in mind, we turn to Romans 8. It’s a passage that’s quite well known. A wonderful passage about nothing separating the Christian ‘from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:39).
Often, though, verse 36 is left out from readings of Romans 8. It can seem strangely out of place. But can you see that Paul is directly quoting Psalm 44:22? Why does he do that?
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