Saturday: Psalm 44-46; Numbers 11.31-35; Hebrews 2.1-4

From: Jason Hood

Deep in Psalm 44 we find a passage that Paul puts to use in Romans 8: “for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 
As Paul and the Psalmist indicate, this path of suffering is part of God's carefully orchestrated plan for his children. We don't always have the full measure of knowledge necessary to discern precisely why bad things happen to us. It may have nothing to do with our character at all (as Jesus taught in John 9). It may be missional suffering, a natural and inescapable part of the Christian life (as in Romans 8.32-40). It may be disciplinary in nature (as in Psalm 44), a judgment which leaves us quailing in the presence of a holy God in light of our disobedience (Numbers 11.31-35). But in either case we know the destination: redemption despite our affliction, and conquering in the midst of tribulation, for all who trust and repent. 
 
When Paul uses Psalm 44 in this way, we learn that he doesn't just think of Jesus as a sacrificial lamb. He expects us to see ourselves in this role as well. To avoid such a task is to "neglect such a great salvation" (Hebrews 2), because as Romans 8 also teaches (vv. 15-17) there is no sonship with suffering. “God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering” (Augustine).

My wife Emily and I live in Roslindale with our four children. I teach New Testament and coordinate a ThM in Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's urban campus in Roxbury.