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Devotional - week of March 17, 2013


WHAT A DIFFERENCE A COVENANT CAN MAKE

As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."  Romans 8:36

 

This verse is a quotation of Psalm 44:22 which reads, “Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

The contexts in which these words are found reveal a great difference between living under the First Covenant and living under the New Covenant. In psalm 44:13, the psalmist cries, “You make us a reproach to our neighbors, A scorn and a derision to those all around us.” In verse 19 the psalmist writes, “But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death.” In verse 33 the psalmist adds, “Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever.”

Now consider the response of the Apostle Paul to his suffering. In the verse preceding the quotation of the psalmist, Paul writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Then in the verse following the quotation from Isaiah, Paul writes, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Suffering at the hands of others caused the psalmist, living under the First Covenant, to be grieved about the reputation of Israel. He calls suffering at the hands of others “death.” He tells God to wake up. He sees suffering as something to complain and rebuke God about.

Paul, living under the New Covenant, saw suffering as a positive thing. It was sent by God to make us more than conquerors.

Every Christian has the privilege of experiencing life under the New Covenant by living out his oneness with Christ.