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Why Does Paul Use That Downer Verse From Psalm 44 in Romans 8?

Psalm 44

I’ve preached through Romans 8:31-39 quite a few times in my ministry. And I’ll be honest and say that I’ve always kind of skimmed over verse 36. This verse, quoted from Psalm 44, seemed a bit awkward to me. Why in the world does Paul throw that verse in there?

I’ve understood for awhile that what Paul is doing in quoting that verse is connecting the suffering of Christians with the people of God in the OT. Just as it was their lot to suffer we should know that it is our lot to suffer as well and yet our suffering doesn’t separate us from the love of Christ.

Why Does Paul Use Psalm 44 in Romans 8?

But I didn’t really use verse 36 as a major note in the text. I think that’ll change now. I spent a good deal of time reading through and meditating on Psalm 44 today (that’s where the quotation comes from).

Can you imagine singing Psalm 44 in your church?

It recounts the history of God in dealing with his people. Those in whom the Lord delights he rescues. That’s His record. Until it isn’t. And that’s what has the Psalmist struggling. They have lost in battle. They are suffering. They are being taunted. They are even being slaughtered. I think they could stomach that if they were being ungodly or idiotic. But they aren’t. They are being faithful to the covenant, and what’s really unsettling. Bad things are happening to good people.