Today’s readings.. (Exodus 1,2), (Psalm 53,54,55), (Romans 7,8)
Paul’s letter to the Romans contains some of the most meaningful and thought provoking words in the Bible. It is impossible to read it and take all the points into our minds until we have read it meditatively many times over, making our own notes.
More than any other book in the Bible, it calls for diligent and reflective study and the following up of the cross references and leads to other Scriptures. The Bible cannot be treated like a school text book that you go through in a year’s study and then leave on the shelf for occasional reference. God’s word is designed by him for our lifelong reading and provokes increasing spiritual perceptions and enjoyment.
Paul had been brought up under the Law of Moses with all its rules and regulations. He had been zealous for the Law, but, as a result of his dramatic conversion he had, with God’s help through the Spirit, applied his mind to the new reality of eternal things – and learnt the wonder of an ongoing personal relationship with his Saviour.
The Law of Moses had been a law for the nation of Israel, but it was now superseded by a situation in which each individual could and should have a personal relationship with their Saviour and with the Father.
Paul makes the point; “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing …” [8 v.18,19] This sense of eagerness is keenly felt by those who see the emptiness in nearly all that most find enjoyable today. Paul says we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” [v.23] Note the word eagerly!
Those who find this life satisfying and enjoyable will not genuinely have eagerness for that which is going to replace it. But for many in the world, such as in the Sudan and Pakistan, to name but two countries, this life offers nothing that a truly spiritual person can enjoy – except their fellowship with each other. Yet, in God’s eyes, those living in such situations are likely to be in a far more spiritually acceptable frame of mind.
Meditate prayerfully on these words near the end of Romans 8. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us.” [v,35,37] However, could not our lack of “eager longing” separate us?