Friday, October 16, 2015

16 October 2015 1 Samuel 10-12; Ephesians 5:17-33 ~ Elizabeth

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 10-12; Ephesians 5:17-33

Although Samuel anoints Saul as the king-designate and the Holy Spirit changes Saul, people remain uncertain about his leadership. At times, we can question the direction the direction life is taking. We can call on the Lord, who always leads in the right way, even when it seems otherwise. The secret selection and anointing of Saul is made public in a national assembly, though Saul is still hesitant about taking on the role. When we hesitate to turn away from certain behaviors or to take on godly responsibilities, God’s Spirit brings change through repentance and faith. As we die to sin and live in Christ, He gives our lives deeper meaning. In the Spirit of God, Saul acts boldly and strategically. The nation unites in worship and praise to the Lord for the victory by Saul’s leadership and by God’s hand. Even though Samuel’s role as judge will cease, he will continue to be the voice of God in his prophetic role-interceding for them and instructing them in the ways of the Lord. Luther wrote: “Here we read that it is a sin against God if we preachers do not rightly instruct the people and pray for them. Also that it is sin when the people will not obey or fear God, who instructs them through us, his ministers” (AE 43:230). By words and miraculous sign, Samuel powerfully proclaims a message of judgment and promise. When you look back over your life, see that you have been less than wholly faithful to the Lord. Yet, “consider what great things He has done for you” (v.24).

Like the Ephesians, we are confronted every day by a world rebelling against God’s way. IN our struggle against its temptations, we can rely on Christ’s Word and Spirit to lead us. Paul modifies a traditional “household code.” For the Christian, the Gospel does not overturn the order of life, but gives it new meaning. Each relationship is reinterpreted “in the Lord”. Wives, children, and servants look on their husbands, parents, and masters as representatives of the Lord and submit to them. Husbands, parents, and masters likewise view the ones entrusted to them as Christ viewed the Church: with self-sacrificing love.

Submission in v. 21 isn’t mutual, but appropriate to each relationship. Within the marriage relationship, the wife “submits,” taking the place God has given her. She is to view her husband as an image and representative of Christ. Headship is not tyranny, but pictures one’s leader and source. If we think of the husband as the head of a marriage and the wife as the heart of the marriage (Paul uses “body”), we see that one is not more important than the other-neither can survive alone. Paul demonstrates their vital yet distinct roles. The Church’s primary relationship to Christ is defined not as Law (obedience), but as gospel (receiving). As the Church does not try to save herself, but graciously receives salvation from Christ, so the wife cherishes her husband’s self-sacrifice for her. IN contrast to the culture of the time, the husband is told not to rule his wife but to love her. Paul’s word to the husband is far longer than to the wife, for it is an opportunity to rejoice in the Gospel. Christ’s marriage to the Church is a major Gospel image in the NT. If the husband’s love for his wife is Christlike, he is willing to give up his very life for her.

Baptism is how Christ sanctified (made holy) His Bride, the Church. “The Church….should be cleansed in order to be holy. He adds the outward marks, the Word and Sacraments” (Luther). “When the Word is joined to the element or natural substance, it becomes a Sacrament” (Augustine). Genesis 2:24, which describes the institution of marriage, takes on added meaning when viewed in the light of Christ. This is the mystery, now revealed: from the beginning God designed marriage to be a Gospel picture of Christ and the Church. If we say with Paul that the husband is the “head” in a marriage, then we may say the wife is the “heart”. Is one more important? No, both heart ad head are necessary for life. We are inclined today to view our marriages selfishly: what can I get out of it? Instead we should consider what we can offer to our spouse and see behind each action a picture of the Gospel itself. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 13-14; Ephesians 6

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

God truly has designed the different roles of husband and wife beautifully.

I read a great article describing all the ways that marriage is a picture of the gospel - it's short and worth the read.