“What advantage then has the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” Romans 3:1,2
What advantage does the Jew have? I want to really understand this. Because I never would have thought about this if I hadn’t been searching out how You use the word “pisteuo” or believe. And I’m finding that it means way more than the “believe” that most of society thinks about. Because how can this be saying, “unto them were believed the oracles of God”? But in a sense, maybe it is. And in another sense, it’s a mutual commitment and a trust that can not be recognized on our own, though it is a tremendous trust all the same.
So, here were the Jews. Who were they really? Well, the nation of Israel started with Abram. Jewish oral tradition has it that Abram’s father, Terah, was an idol maker in Ur, and that Abram had realized the foollishness of idols one day and smashed them all. When his father came back and asked what had happened, he said the idols had fought over the food offering and smashed each other to pieces. But Scripture doesn’t tell me that there is anything that Abram did to be chosen of God. This is just an idea, but what if God had just always created Abram to be chosen? I mean, just because He had created him? What if it wasn’t about what Abram had done, but just about what God had already done and what God was going to do?
In Genesis 12 here’s what You, Lord, said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” And what was Abram’s response to that? “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” This man was chosen by God. Nowhere in Scripture does it say He was worthy to be chosen. God just made him worthy by the choosing. He became worthy in God by obeying.
“Leave everything, EVERYTHING, and follow ME. I will be your GREATNESS where ever you go. I will be your BLESSING, I will be your GREATNESS, which will make you a blessing to others IN ME. MY BLESSING will flow out to others around you, and those who dishonor ME through you, will receive the curse of dishonoring ME. You will bring a BLESSING to all the families of the earth of all time because I AM THAT BLESSING.” And what was Abram’s response. “I will let You do that in me. I will let You be my EVERYTHING. I will let You be my GREATNESS. I will let You lead me and honor me and protect me and bless me in and by Your power. You are now in charge. I am committed to Your words, to Your promise, to You.” I mean, don’t you think that’s what he was saying in reply to God?
So what advantage was it to be Abram? What profit was it for him later to be circumcised? What was the great advantage of Abram or the Jew over anyone else? You, Lord, were and are that GREAT ADVANTAGE. You are that PROFIT. Because unto him and unto them “were committed the great oracles of God.” Unto him and unto them were given, were entrusted, the WORDS OF GOD. This is who You chose to give Your Word as a light unto the whole world and a light unto themselves to be shared, just as You shared the Light with them.
I think You chose a special man, Lord. Abram was a pretty humble guy. I think he realized that it wasn’t him who was special in any way, but that You were the SPECIAL ONE. I think he was a light for you. Because even when he rescued Lot and the King of Sodom wanted to reward him, he wouldn’t accept it. Here’s why. He didn’t want anyone else to be his strength other than You, God. You were his STRENGTH. You were his EVERYTHING.
I guess it all makes me think that faith is not about me. Faith has always been about what You, Lord, are doing and about who You are. You entrust Yourself to us, these feeble, weak creatures. But the wonderful thing is, You are not ever feeble or weak. You entrust Yourself to us in Your STRENGTH AND POWER AND LOVE AND ALL THAT YOU ARE, and in You we are filled with STRENGTH and POWER and LOVE and ALL THAT YOU ARE. I only become something when You become my EVERYTHING.
But first You committed Yourself to us. Will I accept or reject that trust? Will I live and walk and find my being in that trust? Will I give You back what sin stole in my heart? Will I give You back Your preeminence in my life? in everything? You are the ADVANTAGE and the PROFIT. Will I do more than acknowledge that? Will I entrust my whole life and being to You and Your word?
I’m nothing and You are EVERYTHING and I’m OK with that. Because in You I am everything I need to be and I lack nothing. Oh, Lord, let me realize, I mean, let me really grasp the full advantage, the superabundant advantage of You having committed Your self and Your word in me. And let me grasp the great profit of obeying and living in the beauty and power and safety and love of Your word and of You.