Tell me then, you are so eager to be subject to the Law, have you listened to what the Law says?
Have you ever wondered about those people who expose one point of view publicly or politically and then hold another point of view privately? This is the point of today’s article and also the point of Paul’s message to the Galatians Chapter 4: 21 when he wrote: “Tell me then, you are so eager to be subject to the Law, have you listened to what the Law says?” Paul ran into some of the same problems with the Galatians as we see in the world today.
Why would people be so anxious to publicly admit to being subject to the law and yet may not really have a true understanding or grasp of that same law? This could be caused by many different factors but we will look at two in particular that plague our society today.
First, the political factor. Politics is power. Politics is the game that many play to gain what they desire most in this world power to rule over people. They are not doing this for the good of the people, they are doing this for their own greed or lust for power. This can be clearly seen with their claims for popularity or relating to the people by expressing their beliefs. These beliefs are not necessarily heartfelt. Many times they are historically created through family ties. Sometimes they are created through political necessities or convenience. No matter how they were created the results are the same- mere lip service to the actual beliefs of the group. They may even say that they belong to the group yet do not share the beliefs of the group. If this is the case, then the group needs to be strong enough to tell the person or people to adopt the public policies of the group or face sanctions from that group. If the group does not do this they are at risk of losing the rest of the members of their group. This is what Paul was worried about in Galatia and this is what we should be worried about today. Normally we do not look at the motives of why people do what they do, but in this case with so much on the line for the group maybe we should.
Second, the first part of the passage was about why people were so eager to subject themselves and the next part was asking the question if they had listened to the law. This is historically significant in many ways.
There are people who identify with the group for political reasons and never have an intention to follow the group’s teaching. They are actually using the group for their own benefit, not helping the group one little bit.
They do not truly know what that group believes.
They know what the group believes but believe that their knowledge is superior and feel like they do not have to listen to the group.
They know what is true and they are trying to lead the group back to the truth.
They believe that the people in the group and elsewhere truly do not care about what they do and they use the people to get to what they want to happen.
Paul is clear here. The problem is: are we paying attention? Paul wrote this to the Galatians but does it still apply today? Surely people would not fall for this after 2000 years, correct? We would be able to recognize if someone was doing this today, correct? Maybe even bringing up this passage is too controversial in the Church? Could it be that we should read Galatians 4:21 and see for ourselves? What would then happen? These are the questions I have posed to you today. Take them and rejoice because now we can truly see the Bible in a different light. It is not just a bunch of words or passages, it is the word of God. God’s words do not change and apparently, people do not do so either. Amen