Wednesday, 23 July 2014
But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17
The words now issued by Paul reach back to cover the preceding 6 verses (10-16) and at the same time they are an introduction to other concepts which Paul will comment on. In verses 10 and 11 came the Lord’s command concerning marriage; that it should not be terminated through divorce. Then in 12 and 13, he noted that the believing spouse was not to depart from an unbelieving spouse and he gave the reason for it in verse 14. After this, he qualified the marriage arrangement by saying that the unbeliever, if he or she wishes to depart from the marriage, should be allowed to depart.
These are the thoughts which are included in the all-encompassing “But God has distributed to each one…” In other words, the position that one is found in when they became a believer was so chosen by God for that time in their lives; it was not unknown to Him and He understands the details and complexities of the situation. Because of this, what He has allowed should remain. Thus, “as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk.”
This phrase means that we are to remain in whatever state we were in when we were “called.” We cannot say, “Because I am now a Christian, God would want me to leave my unbelieving spouse.” Nor can we find any other excuse to be disobedient to His word because we are now “in Christ.” Rather, He selected the path we are on and we are to walk it, regardless of the weight of the load upon our shoulders, because it really is no true weight which we bear alone. Instead it is one which Christ shares with us. From this stepping stone, Paul will continue with this line of reasoning in the verses ahead.
For now though, he shows that what he is telling the Corinthians is not arbitrary or suddenly enacted by him. Rather, the instructions he is giving are consistently applied elsewhere as well. As he says, “And so I ordain in all the churches.” Since the writing of the epistle, and because it is included in the canon of Scripture, it is set and fixed. It is a part of God’s word and thus we are to be obedient to it, just as obedience was expected on these matters from those in Corinth.
Life application: As believers, we can’t use the past as an excuse to get out of our present situation. God has directed our steps which lead to the moment we called on Christ and He did so knowing the baggage that we brought along with us. In His wisdom, He has placed us where we are for His reasons. Let us accept our state with gratitude and work within it as faithful servants of Christ.
I will love You, O Lord, my might
The Lord is my rock and my fortress too
He is my deliverer, through day and night
My God, my strength, Him I will trust all my days through
My shield and the horn of my salvation
My stronghold, it is He
I will call upon the Lord with elation
He is worthy to be praised now and for all eternity
Lord God, I remember the day that my heartstrings were pulled and I met Your Son. It was a moment that I will never forget and it was a time of immense joy and yet sadness. The feelings of sorrow for having walked apart from Him for so long, and in a way which was contrary to You. But the joy was, and still is, exceedingly far greater. All the past was forgiven and the future became certain and clear. Thank You for the day I met my Lord. Amen.