In the Morning I Will Sing of Your Love

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ISAIAH 19:1-21:17 | GALATIANS 2:1-16 | PSALM 59:1-17 | PROVERBS 23:13-14

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Isaiah’s prophetic streak continues with specific references to Egypt, Cush, Babylon, Edom, and Arabia. It is to the reader’s discretion and preference for dissecting the detailed foretellings on these ancient lands to ascertain which might have been fulfilled to date.

We turn next to Paul’s epistle to the Galatians where Paul starts out by making clear his position on his mission:  he is the apostle to the non-Jews, also known as the Gentiles.  He says, 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 

And in line with this, Paul is not one to succumb to pressure to conform to Jewish practices of circumcision, and cites that Titus, his colleague and a Greek by birth has remained uncircumcised.  Paul is adamant on this point, and mentions his direct opposition to Cephas and Barnabas, two other missionary colleagues of his who evidently practiced hypocrisy concerning some personal habits of dietary laws and such. 

Paul asks them, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

Paul will have none of this hypocrisy, and is determined to make clear what really matters, i.e., personal belief in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose work on the cross we have received a justification of our sins. 

That is what is important and relevant—not what you eat and whether or not you are circumcised.  It does not matter anymore, regardless of whether you are a Jew or Gentile. 

The Law cannot save us, only faith and grace can.  If the Law could save, why would have God come down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to take upon himself the sin of the world?  To what purpose is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?  Was it all in vain? 

Nay, dear reader, it is not.  It is the very essence of the faith wherein we can boldly say that all such observances of the Jewish Law is to naught because the Law has not—and cannot—ever accomplish the forgiveness and redemption offered by the work of Christ.

Paul cannot say this enough, and says it again in no uncertain terms here:   15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

Turning next to our psalm for the day, we find David distraught over his enemies, and yet not without hope in the Lord’s protection and provision.  Would that we would also have the same level of confidence to cry out to God in our hour of need.  After describing how he is beset by his enemies, David has a clear refrain that goes like this:

16 But I will sing of your strength,
   in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.

Finally, a set of verses from the book of Proverbs for the day.  The “rod” is to be taken metaphorically in my strongest opinion ever.  The rod is a metaphor for instruction.  Woe is to the parent who takes a literal interpretation of this saying:

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
   if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
   and save them from death.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.

6 thoughts on “In the Morning I Will Sing of Your Love

  1. The last paragraph of your devotional could not be more timely as this Adrian Peterson case is hitting the media and social media in a big way. He is the Minnesota Vikings’ star running back who was arrested for child abuse for beating his 4-year-old son with a stick. He has cooperated with authorities, issued an apology (although he did not back down on supporting corporal punishment in theory), and sat out last weekend’s game. But the backlash has been huge. The league and the team were waffling on what to do about this until money got involved – big sponsors were rumbling about pulling advertising dollars from the team and from the NFL. I find it interesting that public opinion is so strongly against physically punishing children. I completely agree with you, I am adamantly against it, but I thought our violence-prone society in general would not agree. I’m very happily surprised.

    A very sad side-note is that Adrian Peterson lost a young child a few years ago at the hands of his ex-girlfriend’s then-boyfriend. I can’t remember the exact details but the child, who was just a baby, was killed by physical abuse. Ironic that fans at that time rallied around Adrian Peterson, who had to endure the grief of losing his own son to violence.

  2. I wonder how much of an effect those lines from Proverbs have had on parents through the centuries. It would be interesting to read a study on how the passage is written in Hebrew, how it should be interpreted in it’s context. Because it must seem to a lot of people that the passage endorses physical punishment of children.

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