Pauls footsteps #253

After Chapter 2 we would expect the question of 3:1 to be aresounding no. Instead, we find Paul unexpectedly answering with a resounding yes,(v2). God chose the Jews out of all mankind and bestowed certain privileges upon them. They were entrusted with the whole revelation of God as we have in the OT Bible, which had the law and teachings regarding sin and its solution. Beyond that, the Jewish scripture had the promises of the coming Christ and the way of salvation. Yes, the Jewish nation had received an inestimable blessing over other peoples. Unfortunately, they had misused the blessing, as Paul pointed out in chapter 2, but that did not negate their privilege, “Being a Jew has many advantages.” As it was with the Jews of old, so it is with the Christian church, which has not only received the Jewish scripture but also the New Testament. The church has not only the witness of the prophets but also Jesus and the apostles. The next objection revolved around whether God would remain faithful to His OT promises if the Jews did not. That question is crucial to Paul and his audience because of the fact that if God isn’t faithful to His promises nothing else will make any sense. If we can’t rely on God to be true to His ways, then nothing can be trusted. The basic idea of v4is that even if every person is untrustworthy in their promises, God will be absolutely faithful in keeping His word. He then quotes Psalm51:4 and thereby alludes to the fact that even though God punished David’s sin with Bathsheba, God did not withdraw His faithfulness from him. Thus God vindicated His covenant faithfulness. He had been true to His promises in spite of David’s faithlessness. Each day we can praise the Lord that we can rely on His trustworthiness. Likewise, we can rely on the promises in His Word, even if the church goes astray or many members prove unfaithful. The good news is that God can be trusted. Human faithlessness never cancels the faithfulness of God.

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