You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?
Thoughts for Today:I was on a financial blog the other night discussing the Biblical principles related to making money -- whether through interest charged, making a profit in business, or savings (interest earned). It was very interesting to hear how some people were absolutely convinced the Bible is against making a profit and saving. Others passionately took the opposite position and provided just as compelling arguments. So what does the Bible say about these issues? A lot. But I think it can be summed up in the story of the rich young man from Matthew 19 -- I'm sure you remember it well: A young man approached Jesus and asked what good thing he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to follow the commandments. The young man confidently replied, "All of these I have kept. What do I still lack?" Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." The story ends with the young man walking away in disappointment because he had great wealth.
Most of us when looking at this story come to the conclusion the young man valued riches in this world over treasure in heaven. Others might add Jesus was speaking about the condition of his heart. Jesus knew both pride and possessions were between the young man and God. I believe in our passage today, Paul was speaking on a parallel subject -- the Jews like the young man were prideful, covetous, and self-righteous. They bragged about the law and by doing so, broke it. Paul is telling the Jews: The big thing between you and God is the law -- you've made it into something you own and boast about -- as a result you've not only lost its meaning, but it's source as well. You have brought dishonor to God.
Questions to Ponder:What is more important to you, following rules or your relationship with the Lord? The problem with the law is it is hard to follow, subject to multiple interpretations, and cause many to get caught up in legalistic wording rather than divine intent. Are you more concerned with the law or its purpose? Which of your rules need to be reevaluated?