Meditations in Galatians #11, Thursday, June 11, 2009 Galatians 3:8,9
"The Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "all the nations will be blessed in You." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer."
Look at this! Who says the Gospel was invented by Paul in the first Century AD? Paul says that it was at least 1800 years old when Jesus was born! And Paul gets real specific about that Gospel: it was the revelation that God intended to bless all humanity because of Abraham's faith, by making it possible for them to share in that faith. What did Paul mean that You PREACHED the gospel? Did You send an Angel to "preach" to Abraham? What was that like? Was it actually Your Son Jesus that visited him and walked with him and explained Your plan to him? Was Melchizedek involved? I would not be surprised if it was all of the above.
It also interesting that Your promise that all nations will receive a blessing from You through Abraham, was given long before there was a people called Israel. There were only "nations." I mean, Abraham himself was a gentile because there wasn't anything else. I know Your servant Paul had a lot to say about the purpose of the Law, I think I would like to know more about the purpose of Israel. Why was there a distinction between Jew & Gentile, and why is that distinction wiped out when both come to Jesus? Do You mind if I think about that a minute? You "chose" the biological descendants Jacob/Israel to be Your own personal nation. I know that Paul will say more later about the descendents of Abraham that You did not choose.
Are the Gentiles blessed by "becoming" Jews? We do consider ourselves "chosen" by You. Oh...its that natural/spiritual reality issue isn't it? We become "True Jews" by the "circumcision of our hearts." We become true "sons of Abraham" when we are made righteous through Faith as he was.
I think I get it. When anyone gets confused over whether something is spiritual or literal, and they take the literal position, they are choosing Moses over Jesus. The biological Israel over the "Israel of God." Law over Grace. Letter of the Law over Spirit of the Law. Instead of considering ourselves dead to the flesh, we are acting as if we are dead to the spirit. Wow...What if all these years we have been applying the co-crucifixion process backwards?
As Abraham approached the place of sacrifice with Isaac, he was dying to the natural world all the way. He was carrying his own cross up the hill to Moriah. It was the wood he planned to lay his son on. Abraham, even in his confidence in You and Your promise of the resurrection, was himself dying inside as he obeyed You. O God, what agony! And Your son's death was just like this. I can feel my self dying right now even as I think about all of this. The hope of the resurrection cannot prevent the pain from having its real meaning or effect. When Jesus was dying inside while He was praying to You in Gethesemane, and You refused to alter his path, was He was really hoping that there was another Ram in the thicket? O God He was so much like Abraham! But there was no other Ram this time. He was the Ram.
NO. WAIT! God, it was YOU who was like Abraham! It was all about You. You were denying Yourself an alternate Ram. When Jesus obeyed You, what were You putting Yourself through? You Are THE Abraham! Jesus was THE Isaac!
...............I repent. I surrender...............
There is nothing You cannot ask of me. I do not know that I have any faith at all, or that I will obey You, but nothing You ask can ever be wrong.
You chose Abraham because You knew his faith would grow into something that would restore Your image in a man. Adam died when he sinned, and the spiritual likeness of humanity to Your divine nature was lost. You knew that in Abraham, his faith in You would be the means by which the Devine likeness could be restored to humanity. And then through Jesus, the faith of Abraham could become universal, and all of us could believe that Your Divine likeness would be restored to us. And since this can only happen through a spiritual resurrection, thats why it is by faith and not by works!
Thank You for giving me a few minutes of your time. Galatians is a unique letter. It will take some time to get into Paul's mind, and from there to understand what God has chosen to reveal through the disaster that the congregation at Galatia was experiencing.
The effect of these Meditations will be cumulative, and the real benefit may have nothing to do with what I have written. I believe that the discipline of having a brief daily conversation with God about the meaning of a variety of Bible passages over a period of a few weeks, even if you come to some very different conclusions, will still be a wonderful and enlightening experience for you. At DeadRight.net, under the Yellow Pages, is some background info about Galatians. If you missed an earlier Meditation, you can still read it at DeadRight.net by going to the homepage, clicking on Newsletter, and clicking on "browse previous newsletters."