Monday, 2 May 2016
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? Galatians 4:21
Paul now breaks into a completely new line of thought without any sort of introduction. He has shown his exasperation at what has transpired between the false Judaizers and the believers in Galatia. Now, in order to get them to understand exactly where followers of the law stand in relation to believers in Christ, he will introduce an allegorical interpretation of life under the law in contrast to life in Christ.
In order to call their attention to what is coming; he cries out with his pen, “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law.” The believers who had been duped into the lies of the false teachers concerning adherence to the Law of Moses are who he is referring to. They had gone from the natural path of trusting in the work of Christ in fulfillment of the law to a desire “to be under the law.” Most likely, they were observing certain days according to the law, they were regulating their diet according to the law, and they were contemplating being circumcised according to the law.
However, Paul has some instruction for them coming directly from the law which they had not thought through. And so he says, “…do you not hear the law?” His thoughts will be taken directly from the Torah, the five books of Moses, and they will enlighten the Galatians to a spiritual truth contained in the law itself. During this instruction, he will then cite a later prophet who lived under the law, Isaiah, in order to properly interpret the spiritual message found in the law.
In following this pattern, Paul will show the supremacy of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. He will further show what the consequences of adhering to the law after the coming of Christ will result in.
Life application: When reading the Bible, Scripture should interpret Scripture. Paul shows us this many times in his writings. However, context must be maintained or a false sense of what Scripture instructs may result. Be careful to always look at the context of passages. Above all, be sure to evaluate everything in Scripture from the lens of Jesus Christ. He is the Subject of all of Scripture. Therefore, evaluating the Old Testament through what He has done will allow us to properly see the meaning of those often difficult to interpret passages.
Lord God, in our moments of trial and despair we come to You with our eyes filled with tears and our hearts longing for relief. But in the times when all is good, You are often not even a thought passing through the back of our mind. Help us to not be as unfaithful as this. Help us to consider You first at all times, talking to You, pursuing You, and cherishing Your presence in both the good times and in the times of distress. With this, You will certainly be pleased. This prayer is offered in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.