Todays readings… 2 Samuel 18, Jeremiah 22, Romans 9
“… WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME”
These are the concluding words of today’s chapter 9 in Romans, “…. whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Of course our understanding and resultant belief has to take in the context of the passages in God’s word – and then we must confirm our belief by our actions! The preceding words here are illuminating! Let’s look at the context!
” … it is written, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ “ Paul is quoting from Isaiah 28 v.16! After his conversion how much must Paul have meditated on the words of the prophets and other parts of the Old Testament, the significance and application of which he had previously overlooked.
In writing to the Galatians Paul reflected how, when God “called me by his grace” and “was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone … but I went away into Arabia ….. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem …” [1 v.15-18]
Jesus had been “a stone of stumbling” for Paul – and how much more is this the case today! The whole of God’s word is “a stone of stumbling” in our days – and as a result the whole world is going to be “put to shame” and astonished when Jesus appears – and how soon now!
Have we all followed Paul’s example in searching out the correct meaning and application of God’s words ? As long as we have we “will not be put to shame” when Jesus returns.
The tragedy, as we read in Jeremiah, God’s nation was “put to shame’ in his days, indeed Jeremiah uses this phrase 12 times! “The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed … they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?” [8 v.9] And we can ask, “what wisdom is in” our world today!? In ch. 4 v.22 Jeremiah declared, “They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!” That is so true of our world! Paul, after quoting from Isaiah, then says (as at the beginning of tomorrow’s chapter) “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”
May it be our “heart’s desire and prayer to God” that all those we have contact with, beginning with family members, “may be saved” and “not be put to shame’ when our Saviour appears – and how soon now!?