Romans 2:17-20 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. NKJV
God looked down on the sons of men and out of His own Sovereign purposes chose one man out the mass of humanity and through that man established a race of people we now know as Jews. The man’s name was Abram and he was 75 years old at the time the Lord called him out from among his people to make a nation through him (Genesis 12:1-4). This is how we got the Jewish people through Abram whose name was changed by God to Abraham. God through His own Sovereign will gave His oracles to the Jewish people beginning with Abraham. Later on the Law of God (The Ten Commandments) was given to a Hebrew or Jew named Moses to give to the Hebrew people for them to live by as God freed them from 400 years of enslavement at the hands of the Egyptians (John 1:17). The Law was not given to the Non-Jews or Gentiles. The Jews were to be different and a light to all of the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:6) in the way they worshiped and honored YAHWEH by and with their lives.
Paul now turns his attention and focus to the Jews (Paul being a Jew himself and a Pharisee before his conversion to Christ) by recognizing and acknowledging the special place the Jew holds in the heart of God because of His covenant with Abraham. Every Jew (including Paul before his conversion) was brought up under the rule and governing of the Law of Moses which was supposed to set them apart or distinguish them from the other Nations or races of people, only in the fact that they were in covenant with the One True God. Over the many years with the various kings ruling over the Jewish people (most of them worked evil and wickedness from the throne like Ahab or Manasseh) the people instead of being a light to the Gentiles or other races, they became a stumbling block to them ever seeing or recognizing YAHWEH as the One and Only God.
The Jewish people (led by many of their wicked kings) were often guilty of worshipping the false gods of the various Gentile Nations. These people would boast in the True God and then turn their backs on Him and follow after false gods. They had become comfortable in claiming YAHWEH intellectually, but with no heart desire to obey Him experimentally. There was always a small remnant that did obey YAHWEH amongst the Jewish people as the Holy Spirit spoke concerning a certain priest named Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (they would become the parents of John the Baptist) (Luke 1:5-6). Paul begins to speak to them seemingly in an approving manner by recognizing their reliance upon the Law, acknowledging their understanding of the Law, their apparent reverence of the Law, their confidence in the Law, and their ability to convey the truths of the Law to the darkened Gentile races all around them and scattered throughout the known world.
However, in reality Paul was speaking these words with a slight twinge of sarcasm as he deflated any self-confidence or feeling of exaltation in themselves, knowing that Paul actually considered them just the opposite of the apparent lofty heights that he had lifted them. Imagine the irony that this race of humanity (Jews) being so privileged by the One True God to all of His Oracles when the others races of humanity were not, only by God’s Sovereign design. This reality lifted the religious rulers of the Jews to such heights that they forgot who YAHWEH truly was and began instead to exalt themselves as being so full of light while the other races were pagans in darkness, the religious rulers of the Jews had all the spiritual sight and the other races were blind.
The other races were blind only because they did not know YAHWEH, but the religious rulers of the Jews made themselves blind by adding all of their man-made rules and traditions that never was the will of God. When our Lord Jesus was here on the earth as the God-Man this is what He said of them, Matthew 15:7-14 “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, ‘Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.’ Then His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.’” NKJV When our Lord Jesus came to earth as a man this is what He said to them, Matthew 23:24-26 “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.” NKJV
Today and in every generation those of us who are Christians and Name the Name of Jesus Christ can think or consider ourselves to be light in the darkness of those still lost in sin around us, when in actuality we can allow ourselves to mingle with the sins of those still in darkness and not allow our light to shine differently and thereby dimming the Light of our Lord Jesus Christ in us and through us and in so doing push the Gentiles (un-believers) further away from salvation in our Lord by their observation of the stain of our sins before them. As Paul would write later on to brother Timothy we that Name the Name of Jesus Christ should depart from iniquity, wickedness, lawlessness, and sin ( 2 Timothy 2:19). A Christian should strive to enter in the narrow way and stay in the narrow way cleansing themselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit desiring to be a vessel of honor for our Lord Jesus and not of dishonor having the things done in His Name tested by fire and burned up being only wood, hay, or stubble. We must be vessels of honor bearing gold and silver in our lives as we walk in our Lord Jesus’ Light and Holiness being pleasing to Him (1 Thessalonians 2:4 & 2 Timothy 2:20-22 & 1 John 3:22).
“The marvel of marvels is not that God, in His infinite love, has not elected all this guilty race to be saved, but that He has elected any.” B. B. Warfield 1851-1921
“The Jews were slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken concerning the sufferings of their Messiah; we are slow of heart to believe all that they have spoken concerning His glory.” C. I. Scofield 1843-1921
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…