Friday, March 11, 2005

Romans 1:24-25

Greetings Paulos! I am uploading a short text and commentary today. I may do two more for the remainder of Romans 1. Then, I will probably do a summary at the end to attempt tying the loose ends together. Grace to you, as you read, ponder, and respond!

Romans 1:24-25

24 Therefore God gave them over to the cravings of their hearts unto impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. 25 They exchanged the truth of God with a lie, they worshiped and served the creation instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever, amen!

Just as there were echoes of Adam's sin in the garden in vv. 18-23, Paul is showing in these verses that Adam's sin and Israel's sin are to be understood as linked together, since both Adam and Israel are guilty of idolatry. In verse 25 Paul is alluding to Psalm 106:19-20, where the author writes, "19 They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image. 20 They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass" (ESV, Cf. also Jeremiah 2:11). Just as God created man for himself in the garden, and this event resulted in the fall of man, so the re-creation of man as Israel results in the fall of Israel. Since it was after God redeemed Israel from Egypt that the people worshiped the golden calf.

Verse 25 isn't the only allusion to Psalm 106, for in verse 24 Paul writes, "God gave them over…." Psalm 106:40-41 recalling the tradition of Judges writes, "40 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; 41 he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them" (ESV). What we see here again is that Paul is showing that Adam's sin and Israel' sin are to be seen as connected, for prior to vv. 24-25 Paul is talking explicitly regarding Adam, but then he intertwines Israel in vv. 24-25.

There is a horrible irony in this giving over. As the man worshiped creation, and thus exchanged his glory for the creature, so God gives man over to the cravings of their hearts, so that their bodies are dishonored. Since worship of creation brings dishonor to God, so God gives humanity over to their cravings, so that their bodies would be dishonored among themselves.

No comments: