From Above

Day 264

Prayer for the day

Let them know that you, whose Name is YAHWEH, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Scripture for the day

Ecclesiastes 10-12, Galatians 1

“Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.”

The Teacher has tried everything. He has studied austerity and pleasure, and recognized that all things this world has to offer, while they may be pleasurable for a time, are in the end meaningless. Only, says the Teacher, the fear of God is meaningful. Only following God will bring anything approaching meaning. Fear God, he says, and keep his commandments. God will judge the good and the bad, and bring it into the light.

The Teacher leaves us with these final words, reminding us that regardless of the pleasure or success we seek, only what is done in the fear of God and in the obedience of his commandments will actually provide what we are truly looking for. It will come from God, and will lead back to him alone!

Paul would agree with the Teacher in his assessment of the way things ought to be. He cautions the Galatians to hold firm to the gospel they received (which gave them purpose) because the gospel they received, says Paul, came not from human knowledge and wisdom, but straight from God.

Paul recounts the power of this “gospel-from-above” by sharing his own story of conversion, from persecuting the practitioners of “the Way” to being the foremost among them. This is proof for Paul that what he has experienced is not due to some internal motivation, but comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ, straight from the God of the heavens.

May he so change us.

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