I was reading Psalm 44 this week, and at verse 22 I noticed the familiar words from Romans 8:36, “Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
In Romans 8, I knew the context was that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and that through Christ we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” It is a section that stands out as victorious and triumphant. It is the kind of text that evokes praise and brings comfort.
So it really stood out to me, to find these words here in Psalm 44. You should read the Psalm, but to give you the basic content I will break it down in sections. I’m not quoting the text here, just doing summaries.
Verse 1-3 “We have seen your faithfulness of old, and how our people conquered through You.”
Verse 4-8 “We also trust God alone to give us victory over our enemies.”
Verse 9-16 “We are slaughtered, disgraced, and ashamed before our enemies.”
Verse 17-22 “We have not turned away from God or forgotten Him, yet we are still killed.”
Verse 23-25 “God please wake up and help us.”
So the context of Psalm 44 is basically being conquered, while innocent, and in addition to that, not understanding why it is happening, or where God has gone off to.
The context of Romans 8 and Psalm 44 are not as different as I thought at first. Paul asks “Shall tribulation, distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword,” be able to separate us from the love of God? That question and context sounds very familiar to Psalm 44, so no wonder it came to Paul quoted it here.
As I read these texts, a phrase came to my mind: “Being conquered, we conquer.” I started to think about how this could be possible. I asked, “So even if I’m killed for my faith, or debt sinks, cancer spreads, natural disaster strikes, or armies attack- the bible says I conquer? We conquer, even when it looks like something, or someone else overtook us and won? How does that work?
After giving it some thought, I found this John Piper video from his Look at the Book series, titled “We Are More Than Conquerors,” and it was not only helpful, but beautifully said. I could write a big essay and put this in my own words, but I thought this was wonderful, and so I encourage you to have a listen and be blessed.
If you don’t have time to listen, here’s a concluding quote from Piper: “If you’re a conqueror your enemies are dead at your feet. And if your more than a conqueror your enemies get up from the dead and serve you. In other words, the point here is, God doesn’t just protect you from all these enemies, He makes them serve you. Which is another way of saying Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…”
This was one of those bible times that was so rewarding for me, so I did put things in my own words in a way I love doing- as a poem.
Being Conquered- You Conquer
Being conquered- you conquer,
Beaten down- you stand,
A lamb for slaughter, silent,
But at last, it’s kings
Who shut their mouths
And wring their hands.
Cursed- you bless,
Robbed- you give,
Hungry, but satisfied,
In want, but you live.
Tribulation strums the chord,
Nakedness brings shame,
Satan wields his sword,
Famine hums the refrain:
“For His name’s sake
We shine in times of trouble,
For His glory
Great power is displayed
In weakness as
We’re more than conquerors;
By streaks of blood are made
Of the Christ who made triumphant
His precious saints
Whom even death
Could not steal victory from,
For He has won
And every stroke
Has served us well.
Additional Scriptures I thought of when writing: 2 Corinthians 4:9, Isaiah 52:15, Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6:21, Philippians 4:11-13, Revelation 2:10, 1 Corinthians 15:55, Hebrews 12:11