Thursday, 4 April 2013
Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. Romans 4:9
Paul has been addressing David’s comments which are found in the psalms and which point to the blessedness of man to whom the Lord does not impute sin. Based on David’s words, Paul showed that this blessedness translates into “righteousness apart from works.”
Through Paul’s observations and by citing the Scriptures, it is verifiable that this state of blessedness can be obtained because David both received it and spoke of it. David was a man under the law, the law which included circumcision as one of its signs of the covenant between God and His people. So Paul now asks an obvious question – “Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only?”
The question is important because if it is only upon the circumcised, then anyone outside of the law will never be free from the sin-guilt they bear. All sins committed will in fact be imputed to them. There would then be… no hope. But Paul asks, “Does this blessedness then come ‘upon the uncircumcised also?'” If it does, then there is hope for the world at large and not just those in the nation of Israel and who had been circumcised.
In order to demonstrate that this blessed state does, in fact, come upon those outside of the law Paul will now reintroduce Abraham. Why would he do this? Abraham was the father of circumcision! What could it be about Abraham’s justification that will in turn give hope to the non-circumcised world? Stay tuned for the exciting details.
Life application: When things look hopeless and every exit is blocked, remember that God is fully capable of rescuing you from your trials. Those things that you may have overlooked are already known to Him. So trust that His plan is greater than your time of testing. Stand in the confidence of knowing that His hand is upon you and will guide you to broad places.
Precious Lord, how wonderful it is to live in Your presence and to know that You are always with me – a shade at my right hand. When life is difficult and the trials seem to big to bear, remind me of Your glorious presence and help me to open my mouth and speak to You about the cares and burdens I feel. I know that You will respond according to Your great mercy. Amen.