God, having placed good and evil in our power, has given us full freedom of choice; He does not keep back the unwilling, but embraces the willing.” John Chrysostom
As I listened to family speeches at my 94 year-old Grandma’s funeral service last week, we all felt the same: Each of us was Grandma’s favorite. Her decision to follow God resulted in her being a channel of His love. Inside her worn Bible was a list of all her children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great grandchildren whom she prayed for daily. Her decision to trust, love, and faithfully follow God not only has provided a wonderful example to my family and me, but has also been a ripple effect of tremendous blessing upon our families.
In this last section of chapter 10, Paul talks with an imaginary supporter of Israel. Three questions are presented by this supporter, aimed to prove Israel faultless in their relationship with God. But Paul cites Old Testament passages to prove that Israel’s choice—rejecting Christ as Messiah—is without excuse: But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people” (vs. 21).
Israel’s decision to pursue personal virtue based on works instead of following God’s requirement for righteousness by faith had nothing to do with their inability or chances to understand. For they had been given Old Testament Scripture. Paul clarifies: They were solely responsible for their rejection of God and His Word.
In chapter 10, Paul describes two ways of trying to obtain a right standing before God: 1) Following the Law, 2) placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ.
What is God’s way of salvation? Why did the Law fail?
What if we are busy serving God by doing good things, but we neglect His way of attaining right standing before Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ?
In a land where Bibles are abundant, like Israel, we will not be excused for lack of knowledge and/or opportunity to follow God’s way.