Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 5 Study # 6
Thesis: Being badly mistreated without divine intervention is "proof" of our presence in the bull's eye of God's love.
Introduction: It is "standard operating procedure" for "believers" to be confused and downcast when their circumstances "go south" and God seems to be completely silent. Paul knew this and decided to confront this response by believers with the 180 degree opposite "truth" that, rather than being downcast and confused, we ought to be upbeat and emboldened by this mixture of "difficult circumstances" and "silence from God".
It is almost always the case that a lie is a presentation of something that is a complete opposite to truth, and Paul deliberately selected Psalm 44:22 to make his case because it highlights this very reality. Rather than being evidence that God does not love us, being badly treated is proof of His love. Therefore, this evening we are going to look into his quote of Psalm 44:22 in this context of his "God is for us" thesis.
September 10, 2017
- I. The Place of Verse Twenty-two in Psalm Forty-four.
- A. The past and its effect upon the present; 44:1-8.
- 1. A record of the distant past and God's obvious activity.
- 2. A focus upon God's activity as an expression of His grace and initiative.
- 3. The psalmist determines to depend upon God to "save us from our enemies".
- 4. The conclusion: "In God we boast all the day long...".
- B. The present and its effect upon the psalmist; 44:9-16.
- 1. A clear antithesis revealed by a litany of complaints.
- 2. Complete confusion and shame of face because God did not/is not acting as the past prompted.
- C. The deeper complaint; 44:17-21.
- 1. "We do not deserve this."
- 2. An instance of almost immediate forgetfulness of the realization of 44:3.
- D. The standing problem; 44:22-26.
- 1. The psalmist recognizes both "for your sake" and "all the day long".
- 2. But, like the faithless disciples in Mark 4:38, he has almost immediately forgotten that his circumstances are the result of "His sake" and "His grace" and "His initiative".
- 3. Job is the illustration and Daniel is the counter-illustration.
- II. Paul's Argument.
- A. "It stands written...".
- 1. The psalmist's use of God's activity in the distant past is not the "norm" he wished it to be.
- 2. It has always been, in God's plans, the actual "norm" that His people would be badly treated by those who have no faith and He would not deliver them (Note Matthew 27:43).
- B. "...for Thy sake...".
- 1. God's Plan includes a most fundamental element regarding the qualification of those who will participate in His Kingdom: the elimination of "selfishness" and the embedding of a powerful determination to be willing to sacrifice for the sake of others.
- 2. Few things are more powerful for "illumination" than being faced with horrifying circumstances that indicate the nature of the inner "love".
- C. "BUT in these things all, we are more than mere conquerors through The One Who Loved us".
- 1. As long as we wallow in the lie, we stand defeated.
- 2. But Jesus did not, and was not defeated.
- 3. And we are participants in His victory, which was far more than mere victory; it was an overwhelming flood.
- 4. Then, as we learn of this truth, we can actually begin to participate in the very same faith and attitude of "Love".