Today while reading Romans 10:1-21 a few things jumped out at me. First, the Apostle Paul begins this chapter by expressing his heart's desire and prayer that Israel would be saved. He attests that they are zealous for God, but they have no real knowledge of Him. I found that very interesting. How can someone have a zeal for God but no knowledge of Him? Why would you be zealous for someone you knew nothing about? Could their zeal be based purely on the fact that they were called God's chosen people? Was their zeal more of a national pride? Like Americans are zealous for their flag or Canadians are zealous for hockey? Was their zeal more of a "status" thing, than an intimate knowledge of God?
Paul says in Romans 10:3 that the Israelites were ignorant of God's righteousness. How is that possible? They received the Ten Commandments from Moses. They had whole books in the Torah dedicated to God's requirements for righteous living. They had a huge Temple smack dab in the middle of Jerusalem where they believed God resided in the Holy of Holies. How then were they ignorant of those laws? Is it possible they had forsaken the commandment written only for them, that they MUST read their Torah and obey it (Leviticus 18:4-5; Deuteronomy 11:19)? Did they, like many Christians today, simply stop investing the time in reading God's Word?
What happens when we stop reading the Bible? A shift in our thinking occurs and we forget that we serve a righteous and holy God. Our attitudes change and before we know it, we are agreeing with the world. Paul explains it this way: "Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness" (Romans 10:3). In other words, they did whatever felt right to them. They developed their own sense of righteousness. And like today, right became wrong and wrong became right, all because they stopped reading the Torah and submitting to God's righteousness.
Before the Law was given, the Jews had no sense of right and wrong. They were like wild children. God literally had to spell right and wrong out for them in the Ten Commandments and in the Levitical Laws that followed. Unfortunately, as Romans 10:3 suggests, not all of them submitted to God's plan of righteousness. In fact, the Jews are the only people or nation in the world who have been called by God to actively study the Torah. By not doing so however, many miss the blessing God intended for them. So He created a new way to attain righteousness.
For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Before I begin my devotions I always pray that God will lead me into all truth and that any words I write here, will be words from Him, not from me. I want to be very careful on what I say because the Word of God is not to be taken lightly. So when I write, it is always with trepidation and with an ear listening for guidance from the Holy Spirit, so that I do not go off on a tangent, leading God's people astray. I take the discerning of Scripture very seriously. That said, let's look at the verses above and I will attempt to convey what I heard the Holy Spirit telling me about this passage.
The chosen and precious cornerstone spoke above is Jesus Christ. How do we know this? Scripture confirms it (Acts 4:10-12; Ephesians 2:20-22; Isaiah 28:16). What is the importance of a cornerstone? The cornerstone (also known as the foundation stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. This stone is the most important stone in the structure because all the other stones will be set in reference to this stone. So it determines the position of the entire structure.
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
1 Corinthians 13 is probably the most well-known and well-used chapter in the Bible because of its subject matter - love. It is the "go-to" chapter for weddings for it uniquely and perfectly describes the many facets that make up love. But to keep it in context we need to look at the chapter before it, which talks about spiritual unity and diversity in the body of Christ.
It was this diversity that the Apostle Paul was addressing and he wanted people to realize that even though we are one body with many members, we have all been baptized by the same Spirit and so we should try to live in peace with each other. So speaking tongues, or having the gifts of prophecy or faith, were not important if you didn't have love.
Paul eloquently reminds us that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. And when we look at Paul's description of love we see the object of his affection right away.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The above verse is probably one of the most quoted verses when something bad happens in our lives. I think every time I've had a death in my family someone, somewhere will quote this verse to me. It is meant as a comfort of course, and people mean well when they say it, but how does it really apply to our lives? Do all bad events have a good purpose? Does God purposely cause all things to work out in a Christian's favour?
The verse immediately after Romans 8:28 gives the impression that not only does God make everything work out for the Christian, but He basically has preordained who would become His, thus enjoying His blessings.