16 September 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Galatians, Paul writes he had been “crucified with Christ,” and, as a result, Paul no longer lived — an allusion to a spiritual death. What did Paul mean by “crucified with Christ”?
In the previous verse, Galatians 2:19, Paul states that in Christ he became dead to the Law. Throughout the letter, being dead to the Law was necessary, since he could not be justified through it. Paul was also dead to the world, to ambition and the love of money, to the pride of life, and to the dominion of evil and hateful passions. They lost their power over him; they ceased to influence him.
Today’s passage in Galatians references Genesis 12:3; 18:18; and 22:18.
22 The burden of the valley of vision. What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops? 2 You that are full of shouting, a tumultuous city, a joyous town; your slain are not slain with the sword, neither are they dead in battle. 3 All your rulers fled away together. They were bound by the archers. All who were found by you were bound together. They fled far away. 4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me. I will weep bitterly. Don’t labor to comfort me for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 5 For it is a day of confusion, and of treading down, and of perplexity, from the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, in the valley of vision; a breaking down of the walls, and a crying to the mountains.” 6 Elam carried his quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen; and Kir uncovered the shield. 7 Your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array at the gate. 8 He took away the covering of Judah; and you looked in that day to the armor in the house of the forest. 9 You saw the breaches of David’s city, that they were many; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you didn’t look to him who had done this, neither did you have respect for him who purposed it long ago. 12 In that day, the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, called to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to dressing in sackcloth: 13 and behold, joy and gladness, killing cattle and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.” 14 Yahweh of Armies revealed himself in my ears, “Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,” says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies.
15 Thus says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, “Go, get yourself to this treasurer, even to Shebna, who is over the house, and say, 16 ‘What are you doing here? Who has you here, that you have dug out a tomb here?’ Cutting himself out a tomb on high, chiseling a habitation for himself in the rock!” 17 Behold, Yahweh will overcome you and hurl you away violently. Yes, he will grasp you firmly. 18 He will surely wind you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and there the chariots of your glory will be, you shame of your lord’s house. 19 I will thrust you from your office. You will be pulled down from your station.
20 It will happen in that day that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt. I will commit your government into his hand; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22 I will lay the key of David’s house on his shoulder. He will open, and no one will shut. He will shut, and no one will open. 23 I will fasten him like a nail in a sure place. He will be for a throne of glory to his father’s house. 24 They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, every small vessel, from the cups even to all the pitchers. 25 “In that day,” says Yahweh of Armies, “the nail that was fastened in a sure place will give way. It will be cut down, and fall. The burden that was on it will be cut off, for Yahweh has spoken it.”
23 The burden of Tyre. Howl, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in. From the land of Kittim it is revealed to them. 2 Be still, you inhabitants of the coast, you whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 3 On great waters, the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue. She was the market of nations. 4 Be ashamed, Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not travailed, nor given birth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins.” 5 When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report of Tyre. 6 Pass over to Tarshish! Wail, you inhabitants of the coast! 7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her far away to travel? 8 Who has planned this against Tyre, the giver of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth? 9 Yahweh of Armies has planned it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. 10 Pass through your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish. There is no restraint any more. 11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea. He has shaken the kingdoms. Yahweh has ordered the destruction of Canaan’s strongholds. 12 He said, “You shall rejoice no more, you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Kittim. Even there you will have no rest.”
13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans. This people was not. The Assyrians founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up their towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin. 14 Howl, you ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste! 15 It will come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. After the end of seventy years it will be to Tyre like in the song of the prostitute. 16 Take a harp; go about the city, you prostitute that has been forgotten. Make sweet melody. Sing many songs, that you may be remembered. 17 It will happen after the end of seventy years that Yahweh will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her wages, and will play the prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world on the surface of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holiness to Yahweh. It will not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise will be for those who dwell before Yahweh, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.
24 Behold, Yahweh makes the earth empty, makes it waste, turns it upside down, and scatters its inhabitants. 2 It will be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest. 3 The earth will be utterly emptied and utterly laid waste; for Yahweh has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and fades away. The world languishes and fades away. The lofty people of the earth languish. 5 The earth also is polluted under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell therein are found guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. 7 The new wine mourns. The vine languishes. All the merry-hearted sigh. 8 The mirth of tambourines ceases. The sound of those who rejoice ends. The joy of the harp ceases. 9 They will not drink wine with a song. Strong drink will be bitter to those who drink it. 10 The confused city is broken down. Every house is shut up, that no man may come in. 11 There is a crying in the streets because of the wine. All joy is darkened. The mirth of the land is gone. 12 The city is left in desolation, and the gate is struck with destruction. 13 For it will be so within the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done. 14 These shall lift up their voice. They will shout for the majesty of Yahweh. They cry aloud from the sea. 15 Therefore glorify Yahweh in the east, even the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea! 16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs. Glory to the righteous! But I said, “I pine away! I pine away! woe is me!” The treacherous have dealt treacherously. Yes, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously. 17 Fear, the pit, and the snare, are on you who inhabitant the earth. 18 It will happen that he who flees from the noise of the fear will fall into the pit; and he who comes up out of the middle of the pit will be taken in the snare; for the windows on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. 19 The earth is utterly broken. The earth is torn apart. The earth is shaken violently. 20 The earth will stagger like a drunken man, and will sway back and forth like a hammock. Its disobedience will be heavy on it, and it will fall and not rise again. 21 It shall happen in that day that Yahweh will punish the army of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth. 22 They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and after many days shall they be visited. 23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for Yahweh of Armies will reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before his elders will be glory.
17 But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a law-breaker. 19 For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. 21 I don’t make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”
3 Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 I just want to learn this from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain, if it is indeed in vain? 5 He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you, and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” 7 Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.
For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “The Lily of the Covenant.” A teaching poem by David, when he fought with Aram Naharaim and with Aram Zobah, and Joab returned, and killed twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt.
60 God, you have rejected us.
You have broken us down.
You have been angry.
Restore us, again.
2 You have made the land tremble.
You have torn it.
Mend its fractures,
for it quakes.
3 You have shown your people hard things.
You have made us drink the wine that makes us stagger.
4 You have given a banner to those who fear you,
that it may be displayed because of the truth.
5 So that your beloved may be delivered,
save with your right hand, and answer us.
6 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“I will triumph.
I will divide Shechem,
and measure out the valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine.
Ephraim also is the defense of my head.
Judah is my scepter.
8 Moab is my wash basin.
I will throw my shoe on Edom.
I shout in triumph over Philistia.”
9 Who will bring me into the strong city?
Who has led me to Edom?
10 Haven’t you, God, rejected us?
You don’t go out with our armies, God.
11 Give us help against the adversary,
for the help of man is vain.
12 Through God we shall do valiantly,
for it is he who will tread down our adversaries.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad, even mine:
16 yes, my heart will rejoice,
when your lips speak what is right.