Saturday, 3 November 2013
“Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” Romans 11:35
Here we have Paul’s final Old Testament quote of chapter 11. He reaches back to Job and the Lord’s words there –
“Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.” Job 41:11
The question that the Lord is asking of Job is “Who has paid me first (preceded Me), that I should (re)pay him?”
Paul uses this quote as if he is asking each of us in order to consider it. The answer is obvious. God is the Creator and thus the Source of all things. There is nothing that we possessed before He possessed it and therefore, there is nothing that isn’t His. And this isn’t only speaking of tangible things like gold and silver, but of all things that come from the material creation and which are found in man – grace, mercy, love, devotion, etc.
When God constructed us, He did so in a way which allows us to participate in His creation in a cognitive way. We have understanding and reason, we have emotions and desires, etc. But all of these came from the same Source. This is why John can state, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We can’t even claim that our love preceded His. He is eternal in nature and love is one of His many attributes. Therefore, His love is. It doesn’t increase or decrease. He is love and this love has always been. We have been the object of His love in His eternal mind before creation itself stood firm.
No matter what we offer to Him, it came as a result of His creative effort and therefore there is nothing which needs to be repaid by Him. From this spoken word to Job, the Lord follows with the statement, “Everything under heaven is mine.” He is God; the Source and Possessor of all things.
Life application: At times, we may feel we’ve done something great for the Lord. And from a human perspective it may be so. But our deeds can never precede the Lord and therefore we are owed nothing. This shows us the immense grace of the judgment seat of Christ where “rewards” will be handed out for our faithful acts (see 1 Corinthians 3:9-15). Despite not owing us a thing, He still has reserved rewards for our faithfulness. What a great God!
Lord, I’m told in Your word that there will be heavenly rewards for my faithful deeds. This is a point of excitement and anticipation. And yet, to see Your face is the greatest reward of all because You are the Source of all things. My greatest hope, my deepest longing, and my eternal desire is but to behold Your beauty for all eternity. With this, my cup will always be full. Amen.