SOMETIMES OUR MERCIFUL LORD
IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND
GOD HAD CALLED JOHN THE BAPTIST FOR A GRAND PURPOSE..
WHEN HE WAS STILL IN HIS MOTHER’S WOMB HE LEAPED FOR JOY UPON RECOGNIZING JESUS IN MARY’S WOMB.
HIS WHOLE LIFE WAS DEDICATED TO THE MESSIAH
TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR HIM
HE BAPTIZED AND PREACHED REPENTANCE
WITHOUT FEAR OF THE POWERFUL PHARISEES
.HE GLORIFIED HIS LORD, CRYING:
BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD,
HE KNEW HIS PLACE, SAYING:
HIS SANDALS I AM NOT WORTHY TO UNTIE
I MUST DECREASE BUT HE MUST INCREASE.
HE SAW WONDROUS THINGS:
HEAVEN OPEN AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD DESCEND LIKE A DOVE.
THEN HE HEARD GOD SAY OF THIS ONE:
THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.
JOHN KNEW JESUS WAS THE ONE.
WE ALSO KNOW THAT GOD WAS PLEASED WITH JOHN,
FOR JESUS SAID:
NO MAN BORN OF WOMAN IS GREATER THAN JOHN THE BAPTIST.
YET, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO JOHN:
“Herod the Tetrarch, who had been rebuked by him [John the Baptist] because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, added to them all by shutting up John in prison.” (Luke 3:19-20)
An even more horrible fate awaits John, for the daughter of Herodias will dance, Herod will promise her half his Kingdom, and her mother will have her ask instead for the head of John on a platter. Understandably, John is confused. Was Jesus not sent to deliver His children from evil? So he sends word to Jesus:
Are you the one who was to come, or should we look for another?
After all the exciting evidences, now it seems like God is sleeping.
This is the mood of Psalm 44.
AWAKE! WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING, O LORD? (Psalm 44:25)I have often said that the “psalms are bi-polar,” meaning there are great highs and great lows, for that is how life is.
In this psalm we have both, back to back, beginning with a high, and ending with a low. And God allows us to be honest, to “end with a low,” because that is how we are really feeling. Each of us have had times when it felt like God did not come to our rescue. And sometimes, on earth, HIS BEST die terrible deaths. When Jesus answered John in prison, He pointed to the evidences that He was indeed the Messiah. He doesn’t deliver us from this present age, but oh, He does deliver us. We have something the psalmist and John the Baptist did not have that helps us realize that Jesus came for every generation — not just one. And that one day, this earthly suffering will seem so small.
I remember a few weeks ago a few of you wrote that your sacrifice of weeping is to be content where you are in hard circumstances right now AND NOT TRY TO ESCAPE. I thought that was beautiful, and I think Psalm 44 will minister to you. You can be honest with God, and He will find a way to give you comfort and hope, despite the difficulties you are living right now. And remember:
1. What stood out to you from the above, and why?
2. Is there an area where you are looking for rescue, but God seems silent?
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY
Here is Psalm 44 sung in Hebrew, but with English sub-titles. It will prepare you for this study. (Please copy and paste in your browser. I found this too late to get tech help!)
3. Read Psalm 44:1-8 and describe the mood and the thankfulness for past rescues.
4. Share one way God has rescued you in the recent past.
5. Read Psalm 44:9-16 and describe the mood and the phrases that point to a lack of rescue.
6. How can you see Jesus in the above passage?
7. Read Psalm 44:17-22 and describe why this lack of rescue is particularly confusing.
8. Read Psalm 44:23-26. What phrases of lament strike you and why?
9. I FOUND THIS JEWEL OF A SERMON ON PSALM 44. LISTEN AND SHARE YOUR NOTES AND THOUGHTS:
10. Having listened to this sermon, how might you pray this psalm in your circumstances right now — or how might you pray it for the persecuted Christians?
11. What is your take-a-way and why?