Friday, 14 June 2013
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Romans 7:11
This is a similar sentiment to what was stated in 7:8. What Paul is doing is showing how sin takes root in us. Even though it is derived from something good, such as the law, things get cunningly turned around through deception.
The Greek word for “deceived” is exēpatēsen. It indicates being thoroughly deceived or “hoodwinked.” A form of this same word was used to translate Eve’s words in the Greek copy of the Old Testament in Genesis 3:13 – “The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'” This shows that Paul is probably referring to Genesis and is thus using the personal pronouns “I” and “me” in this chapter to refer to his humanity and is thus applying the principle to all people.
Sin is being personified to show us how the devil worked in the Garden of Eden and how he continues to work through various things and people. The deception he is speaking of, which takes occasion through the commandment, ends in death. Solomon shows us how this works when describing the flattering words of an adulterous woman –
With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, With her flattering lips she seduced him.
Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,
Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life. Proverbs 7:21-23
Sin’s deception is so powerful that we simply follow its lead like dumb animals to the slaughter. This is exactly how it works in us time and time again. In the coming verses, Paul will show us how the conflict rages and the confusion which results. But he will also show us the remedy for it. There is victory over the power of sin and it is to be found in Jesus.
Life application: Sometimes something seems so right and yet it is deadly to our soul. We need to be on constant guard against the deceitfulness of sin, but the only way to do so is to know what in fact is sinful. Reading and meditating on God’s word is the surest way to be grounded in our faith. Be like the psalmist of old and “meditate day and night” on the precepts found in the Bible.
Lord, the thing I desire to do is the thing I often fail at. And the thing I know is wrong and that I don’t want to do, well, this is the thing I often end up doing. Where is the remedy? Where is my cure? I know it is found in You – knowing You, fixing my eyes on You, and meditating on Your word. Be with me in this struggle and may my life be one which is pleasing to You. Amen.