Between Friends

In Psalm 44, the Old Testament writer laments Israel’s defeat in battles and interprets their hardships as the absence of God, leveling some pretty ugly accusations against the Lord. And yet, the psalmist turns to him in the assurance that God still – no matter what – steadfastly loves them. 

Psalm 44:10-11; 23-26

10 You made us turn back from the foe,
          and our enemies have gotten spoil.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
          and have scattered us among the nations.

23 Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
          Awake, do not cast us off forever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
          Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we sink down to the dust;
          our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help.
          Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

 

In the New Testament, Paul admits in his letter to the Romans that we don’t always know how to pray, and he quotes a line from Psalm 44.  Hard times often lead to harsh emotions and words, even to our Lord. But Paul comes to the same conclusion as the psalmist:  “Suffering does not separate us from the love of God.” (Allen P. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms). And neither will our blunt and bold prayers. As Dr. Kalas comments in Chapter 2, God is the one friend we can always speak to in full candor.

Romans 8:26-27; 35-39

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 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.”

 

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