May 9, 2019
Yesterday we heard the conclusion of the story of Gideon. It is a pity that Gideon was so successful, but that a half-son and unfaithful people ruined his legacy. I am always very disappointed that Gideon so quickly turns to idolatry after God has worked so fantastically through him. The whole story, including the part about Abimelech, supports the verse which says, “Whatever you sow, that is also what you will reap.”
This is a psalm asking God to stop being silent when Israel was praying for relief from their enemies. And we now have the background to understand the names mentioned by Asaph.
In chapter 4, Paul continued to use Old Testament pictures to show the teaching that is central to this book: Gentiles do not need to be circumcised because we have been freed from the Law of Moses. We do not need to earn favor with God. We have already been adopted as sons and are considered heirs of God's promises. Proof of this is that the Spirit of Jesus is in our hearts.
Remember that in Greek, ‘faith’ and ‘believe’ have the same root word. Most other English words— like ‘operate’ and ‘operation’, show their root word similarity. It is an unfortunate quirk of English that it doesn’t work that way for ‘believe’ and ‘faith’. To help you see the cohesion and how Paul is harping on this one concept, I suggest reading this book substituting ‘fully believe’ for ‘faith’.
GNT Translation notes:
Gal. 5:4 Those of you who try to be put right with God by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You [have fallen away from//have become outsiders to//are outside] God's grace.
5 As for us, our hope is that God will put us right with him[self]; and this is what we wait for by the power of God's Spirit working through our [believing//faith].
6For when we are in union with Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor the lack of it makes any difference at all; what matters is [full belief//belief in Christ//faith] that works through love.
15 But if you act like wild animals, [biting//hurting] and harming each other, then watch out, or you will completely [devour//destroy] one another.