Numbers 22:21–38; Romans 7:1–12; Matthew 21:23–32
Our readings today are filled with resistance to God’s authority. The Lord had commanded Balaam to not go to Balak, but greed made the prophet waver. So God’s messenger stood in his way, causing Balaam pain and discomfort. Still, stubborn avarice pushed him onward. Though God’s messengers warn us off, do we stubbornly push aside God’s will?
The obstinacy of disobedient sin plagues the human condition. Knowing the Lord’s will, do we strike with our willful staffs, urging the beast to carry us back in to captivity? There is only one release from this bondage to the law, sin, and death: being bound to Christ who sets us free.
Through the body of Christ, we have died to the law, and are now to serve God “in the new way of the Spirit,” an obedience of the heart (Rom 6:17). But the obstinacy persists. Like the priests and elders of Jesus’ time, we challenge his authority. So, the law, that messenger of the Lord, stands with drawn sword, blocking our way, accusing us of sin. May these roadblocks arouse in us contrition and true faith in Christ who sets us free from sin so that we may delight in his will.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, ever call me back to faith in God, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC.