Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?


In Rom. 8:26-39 Paul cites Ps. 44:22 in a curious way.

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.

Paul is trying to encourage the church in Rome, to provide them with the strength and perseverance necessary to endure the trials of this world. And he chooses to do so with a psalm of lament. And a pretty hardcore one at that.

Ps. 44:22 Because of you we are being killed all day long,
and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
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.

Could it be that Paul is answering the rhetorical questions of the psalmist? “Why do you hide your face?” He has shown his face in Jesus. “Rise up, come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.” He rose and redeemed us in Jesus. “He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us” (Rom. 8:32).

 

Leave a Reply