to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
November 06, 2019 – Wednesday
Romans 2:25-27 NIV
25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.
26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?
27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
The verses above have something very important to say to both the Jew and to the Gentile. Many Jews believed the fact that they were descended from Abraham assured them of salvation. For the men the fact that they were circumcised was proof enough they would be saved. Paul makes it clear this is not so, especially in the following two verses.
28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
This goes back to the book of Leviticus 26 where the sin of the uncircumcised heart is discussed
40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward Me, 41 which made Me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember My covenant with Jacob and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
Nor should this have been a surprised for the thought also goes back to Deuteronomy 10 where we read
15 Yet the Lord set His affection on your ancestors and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, Who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
And again in Deuteronomy 30 where circumcision of the heart is tied to love
6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Then a warning in Jeremiah 4 if the Jews refused to circumcise their hearts
4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or My wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done—burn with no one to quench it.
With this in mind and now looking at verse twenty-seven above The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. They, the Gentiles, will not condemn as if the Jews were on trial, but by their conduct driven by their own circumcised hearts will condemn those whose behavior reflects their uncircumcised hearts when their outward circumcision and birthright will avail them nothing,
This is not uncommon and why the unrighteous often times hate the righteous because the unrighteous can see their own condemnation simply from observing the actions of the righteous.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)