Today’s Old Testament chronological reading is in Genesis 45 and 46.
The Psalms/ Proverbs reading is in Psalm 44.
The New Testament reading is in Mark 4.
Psalm 44 always troubled me, because the tenor of it is so discouraging. The chiastic structures posted above are new, not lining up with the one posted in the previous studies. But the new structure for Psalm 44 helped me see that it is a study in contrasts (comparison and contrast is one of the teaching tools of Scripture.)
A pairs: YHVH’s historical favor is contrasted with His seeming present casting off.
B pairs: Salvation is contrasted with the present shadow of death.
C pairs: YHVH’s historical prevailing over the Jacob’s adversaries, so that they are put to shame, is contrasted with the seeming present Jacob’s adversaries prevailing over him, so that shame covers him.
Then the central axis echoes a sentiment we first encountered in Job.
In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name for ever. Selah. Psa 44:8
Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. Job 13:15
Since Psa 44 is one of only a handful of Psalms quoted in the New Testament, I went back to Rom 8 to see if it could shed light on it. The new chiastic structure from Rom 8:35-39 above, where Psa 44:22 is quoted, reveals that even though tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword happens, none of it is strong enough to separate us from God’s love in Messiah Yeshua. Not even death, nor principalities – demonic rulers of wickedness in the spiritual realm – nor time, nor space, is strong enough to separate us from God’s love in Messiah Yeshua. For even though those created things may surround us, the central truth is that we have conquered them through Him who loved us.
Romans 8 is from the pen of Paul, who was arrested and sent to Rome, where he was beheaded for his testimony concerning Messiah Yeshua. In fact, none of the apostles save John died a natural death. How is that being more than a conqueror? Because the death of the body is the worst they can do. The death of the body will come upon all eventually. When we approach it, whether it is by persecution or a sword or natural causes, we merely approach the threshold separating life on this side of heaven from life on that side of heaven. We cross from life, to life. And that by the love of Messiah Yeshua, who secured life for us, and that, dearly beloved, is more than conquering!
Links to previous studies.
Gen 45 and 46, Thematic analysis
Gen 44:18-46:27 Chiastic structure
Psalm 44, God my King
Psalm 44 Chiastic structure
Mark 4 Chiastic structure
Mark 4, Having ears to hear
Mark 4, Turning and forgiveness