Daily Readings and Thought for February 1st. “MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED”
Yesterday we saw how our readings in Romans also referred to Israel in Egypt and God’s continuing purpose with them. Paul told the Romans, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth’” [9 v.17]
It was not that the actual name of God, Yahweh, should be proclaimed, but that the reputation of Israel’s God in bringing them out of Egypt, with a remarkable display of power, would be widely known and feared. We will see repeated evidence of this in our readings in coming weeks and months.
There are different reactions to this. The reaction hoped for, is that people will want to come and work and serve Israel’s God – as the only real God. We now look at what Paul goes on to write in Romans 10, expressing his dismay that the Israelites in his day “have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” [v.2]. What does that mean? Is there evidence of this today – in a different way?
Recall what we read in Job at the end of December. God accused Job of darkening “counsel by words without knowledge” [38 v.2]. Job confesses, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things to wonderful for me which I did not know… I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” [42 v.3-5]
So Paul tells the Jews, we read in Romans 10, that they “being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” [v.3]
This is “the righteousness based on faith” [v.6]. This is “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” [Ephesians 1 v.18] so we see the Jews, although having a zeal for God, did not possess a “knowledge” of God, a true sense of what God was. . Think of that as a ‘knowing’ of God which results in developing a true relationship – with our prayers to him coming from our hearts with a sense of awe.
Understanding it in this way we can then read Romans 10 v. 8 to 13 with a humble mind, and God will be seen as “bestowing his riches on all who call upon him” [v.12] These are wonderful compared to man’s riches. What are God’s riches? Meditate on the final 4 verses of Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” This “depth” will soon be seen and “proclaimed” as the world becomes aware of God and the wondrous meaning of his “name.”