- "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 'A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough'" (Galatians 5:7-9).
‘When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Exodus 12:13). "You must eat unleavened bread’ (Exodus 12:20). In these two verses, we note the importance of being saved by the Lord and going on to live for Him.
In Exodus 12:13, we are directed beyond the Passover to Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins (John 1:29; 1 John 1:7).
In Exodus 12:20, we have the call to holy living. In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Galatians 5:7-9, Paul uses ‘leaven’ as a symbol of ‘sin’, which holds us back from ‘running a good race’. We are to live as a new creation, who feast on ‘the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’.
Forgiveness of sins and holy living belong together. We are not to rejoice in God’s forgiveness and then gloss over His call to holy living: ‘justified by faith’, we are to ‘walk in newness of life’ (Romans 5:1; 6:4).
‘You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7). Everything seems to be going well - ‘From victory to victory His army He shall lead till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed’ (Judges 1:1-18). Things went badly wrong. God commanded His people to ‘drive out’ His enemies. Again and again, they failed (Judges 1:19,21,27-33). This failure brought a stern rebuke from ‘the angel of the Lord’. God had blessed His people. Now, He has to rebuke them - ‘you have not obeyed my command’. Read of Israel’s weeping, and pray for this: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation’ (Judges 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 7:10). ‘Strong in the Lord...’ let us ‘tread all the powers of darkness down... and stand complete at last.’
Everyone was so happy - ‘Long live the king! (1 Samuel 10:24). Everything seemed to be so promising - ‘The Spirit of God came mightily upon Saul’ (1 Samuel 11:6). God’s people were victorious (1 Samuel 11:11). God’s people ‘rejoiced greatly’ (1 Samuel 11:15). This is not, however, the whole story. Things were to get worse, much worse - ‘You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from Him who calls you’ (Galatians 5:7-8). Remember the parable of the sower: ‘Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word... When tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, immediately they fall away... The cares of the world and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the Word, and it proves unfruitful’ (Mark 4:15,17,19). Pray - ‘Deliver us from evil’ (Matthew 6:13).
‘May you rejoice in the wife of your youth... may you ever be captivated by her love (Proverbs 5:18-19). We may apply this teaching concerning marriage to our relationship with the Saviour. You loved Him so much in ‘your youth’. You were ‘rejoicing in Him’. You were ‘captivated by His love’. ‘You were doing so well’, but something happened - you have gone off course (Galatians 5:7-8). Is this the story of your life? Return to ‘your first love’ (Revelation 2:4-5). There is also a warning against unfaithfulness (Proverbs 5:20). This can also be applied to our relationship with Christ. He ‘loved us and gave Himself for us’. He calls us to be ‘holy... a radiant church’ (Ephesians 5:25-27). We belong to Him. Why settle for anything less than the Best, anything less than our Lord Jesus Christ.