June 16 I Tuesday
“The LORD had said to Abram,…I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing….and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” —Genesis 12:1-3
When God made a covenant with Abraham that He would make his name great and bless him, it was all about what God would do. When we contrast it with the Ten Commandments that Moses received from God on Mount Sinai, the law is about what we do for God. In the New Testament, Paul compares a life of faith with a life living by the law. He says, “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith’” (Galatians 3:10-11). What Paul is saying is that the law was never meant to set aside the covenant established with Abraham. In fact, it was meant to lead us to the covenant that God had established with Abraham.
The Judaizers of the time were fixed on the Mosaic laws. But Paul makes a point to contend that the tablets were not to replace what God had already established with Abraham but to lead us to God’s promises made to Abraham. Paul writes, “Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law,
locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (Galatians 3:23-25).
Paul is telling us that the whole purpose of the Mosaic Law was to be our “guardian”, which is translated from the Greek word paidagógos. The term paidagógos was used by the Romans and the Greeks to mean “a tutor”, someone who is a well-trusted servant employed in a household and tasked with supervising the life and morals of the children. The law was never meant to replace the Abrahamic covenant, the law was meant to hold us in custody and be a tutor to help us learn about who God is and about ourselves.
No matter how hard we try to keep the law, there is a sinful nature in all of us where we fall short and break the law. Even with our best efforts, we cannot do it, because the whole purpose of the law is to expose to us that we need a Saviour. Hence, the purpose of the law was actually meant to lead us to the Abrahamic promise—to the promised Seed in which all nations will be blessed—this promised Seed was Christ Jesus, Himself. We are grafted into the promise not by keeping the law but when we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus.
Prayer: Lord God, I confess that all my works fall short of keeping the law. Thank You for sending us Christ Jesus, who is the fulfilment of the law and promise You made with Abraham. Praise You!