Prayer for the day
Who is like the LORD our God, who sits enthroned on high, but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
Scripture for the day
Paul’s care for the people of God manifests in many ways throughout his letters. His letters explain many of the ins and outs of God’s love for his people, about God’s characteristics, and God’s unstoppable compassion for us.
One of Paul’s great concerns is that people understand the commitment God has made to his people, and how that works itself out. Is circumcision what will curry God’s favour? Will slavish devotion to the law ensure that God will love us?
His answer to all of those questions is an unequivocal “NO!” He makes us case not only from logic, and not only from what he knows of God’s action and character, but also from the First Testament story of the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham.
According to Paul, Abraham’s “righteousness,” the state of being declared right before God, is dependent not on circumcision and obedience to the law, necessarily, but is dependent upon the faithfulness of God when Abraham believed in him. Abraham’s trust in God, his unquestioning trust in the promise God made to Abraham to make him the father of many nations, despite the command to kill Isaac, is absolute. He acts according to the promise of God despite what could have happened.
David has a lot of similar things to say about the salvation of God. This salvation comes when one who seeks God cries out to God. David’s understanding of salvation resembles our idea of a rescue mission after seeing a smoke signal. The one needing to be rescued cries out, and the one who sees the signal responds.
There is no talk of worthiness, no talk of checklists. There is only the grace of God operating on the heart of the one who cries out in belief.
Let’s be the ones who believe.