Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:4:1-11
700 years previous in the times of Isaiah God had lightly then more grievously afflicted this region of Palestine for faithlessness by giving them over to the Assyrians kjv@Isaiah:9:1-2. It was a region vexed for their seeking of familiar spirits and mumbling wizards among other despicable things. Darkness typically is a symbolism of a judgment hanging over a people, not so much an ignorance or lack of understanding as we might prefer to think. It is rather that they knew that they were doing wrong and had been frequently warned as to the inherent coming consequences and still they did as their deceitful hearts desired.
For a people to have seen a great light as later recorded and to yet rather love darkness is quite an accusation; meaning that they more desired to remain under this judgment and further judgment than to turn to and follow the light of Jesus; it says a lot about their enmity with Jesus and what He represents to them. Such a love for their own evil deeds is as a double judgment brought upon themselves, one for pursuing their evil and two for after having been exposed and directed not leaving out of their sinfulness. It is a judgment stacked upon judgment from under which there is no hope of escaping; and rightfully so.
Man is self deluded concerning God's judgment. Take King Herod and his adulterous marriage to his brother's wife. Not only is it sinful deserving God's judgment as mentioned publicly by John the Baptist, it is added on to by the unjust arrest of John to appease the queen. John is the only one in the right in this matter. And where are the religious leaders in defense of this call to righteousness? Silent and sitting on their hands for both jealousy and vengeance against John calling them out publicly for the judgment hanging over them as well.
This passage reminds us of the cost most often involved when standing for God's righteousness. Blessed are those that suffer and are persecuted for Christ's righteousness sake, which means most all of us saints suffering for it in some form. Personal obedience is often obedience in the face of this. Even if it is not know immediately from where the assault will be coming from, it should be anticipated to come from somewhere at some point if not immediate or ahead of.
Next: devotion:Matthew:4:18-22 The Calling of the First Disciples
Mon Jul 23 12:32:49 2018
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