The Sweetness of Seduction
WOW! It’s already Tuesday! However, it’s also time for SUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNDAY REVIEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!
Seduce: to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty; to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises; to carry out the physical seduction of: entice to sexual intercourse; to attract or to lure.
Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word “seduce” is quite interesting. The idea that someone can actually lure others to something that leads to disobedience or disloyalty seems so far-fetched. However, Paul the apostle didn’t think so. After all, Judaizers had infiltrated the churches in the region of Galatia and he was completely amazed at how quickly they abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ which he preached to them.
Now take this into account: Paul was not upset that they turned on his preaching. He was upset because they had deserted the Good News of Jesus Christ who is all-sufficient unto salvation. No other thing is necessary nor is anyone else necessary for you to be saved except to place your faith in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. But Judaizers were preaching a different message than Paul. They were saying that in addition to placing your faith in Jesus Christ, you should also live according to the Mosaic Law.
Now there’s a two-fold reason for the Judaizers teaching this. First, they believed that the Gospel was to them. This is true. Even Paul the apostle says that the Gospel is for “the Jew first, and then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16, 17). This in turn caused a racism of sorts. After all, if you wanted to trust in Jesus Christ, who was Jewish, you would have to live like the Jews lived, and that is according to the Mosaic Law. Certainly the Gentiles would understand the necessity of this rule. Second, the Judaizers taught this because it would allow them to remain in control not only of the religious right, but also of the people. Think about it: they were the ones telling the Galatians that Paul may have had the story right to begin with, but they knew the rest of the story. Paul didn’t tell them the full scope of what salvation looks like. It looks like faith in Jesus Christ plus the keeping of the Mosaic Law in order to find favor with God.
Herein lies the problem: Paul’s Gospel message was that all one had to do was to place their faith in Jesus Christ and in Him alone unto salvation. There are no other added requirements. The Law (we will find out later) was simply to point people to the Good News of Jesus Christ. And what is that Good News? “Christ died according to the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised again according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This is all. That’s it. Jesus Christ + Nothing = Everything.
Sunday evening marked yet another piece to the saga of Joseph. He had moved his father, Jacob, and all of his family to the region in Goshen under Egypt’s rule. Continuing the story we see that what man meant for evil, God meant for good. After all, Joseph was in the most prominent position in Egypt just under the Pharaoh. He was in charge of everything that Pharaoh owned. During the time of Genesis 47:11-31, the famine in the land was in full force. People were coming from every where to buy food from Egypt. Through good, shrewd (not in an evil sense, but in a good sense) business practices, Joseph was able to buy all of the land of Egypt for the Pharaoh. He literally owned the entire country! People came to buy food for their animals and their families because starvation was a very read thing. And what did Joseph do?
Joseph knew that God had blessed him and his family with the position that he held. He in turn took the blessings that God had given to him and gave blessing to those who came for food. He gave them seed for their animals and families to grow crops. The Pharaoh would receive 1/5 of whatever was harvested and the families would be able to keep 4/5 of all that was harvested. No one was hungry. The land was used properly. The Pharaoh knew that he had a great businessman on his side. God blessed. And Jacob was now a fulfilled man because he was with his son, Joseph. Joseph was a fulfilled man because he did what God wanted him to do.