Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 8, 2016

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ” – “the true bread out of heaven” Who “gives life to the world.”

Today’s devotion come from Nehemiah 9:13-20.

“13 “Then You came down on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven;
You gave them just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
14 “So You made known to them Your holy sabbath,
And laid down for them commandments, statutes and law,
Through Your servant Moses.
15 “You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger,
You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst,
And You told them to enter in order to possess
The land which You swore to give them.

16 “But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly;
They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.
17 “They refused to listen,
And did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You had performed among them;
So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.
But You are a God of forgiveness,
Gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness;
And You did not forsake them.
18 “Even when they made for themselves
A calf of molten metal
And said, ‘This is your God
Who brought you up from Egypt,’
And committed great blasphemies,
19 You, in Your great compassion,
Did not forsake them in the wilderness;
The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day,
To guide them on their way,
Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go.
20 “You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth,
And You gave them water for their thirst.”  Nehemiah 9:13-20.

————————–

You gave them just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.”  Verse 13.

“7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.”  Psalm 19:7-11.

So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.”  Romans 7:12.

What was the response of the people of Israel?

“But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly;
They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.”  Verse 16.

“9 What then?  Are we better than they?  Not at all;  for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”  Romans 3:9-12.

“5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  … 7 What shall we say then?  Is the Law sin?  May it never be!  On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law;  for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”  8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind;  for apart from the Law sin is dead.  9 I was once alive apart from the Law;  but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;  and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;  11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.”  Romans 7:5 and 7-11.

Although God’s Law is certainly good, we are certainly not good.  The solution is not to just try harder. 
 
Verses 15 and 20 lead us to the solution.  God’s earthly manna leads us to meditate on Jesus, “the true bread out of heaven”, Who “gives life to the world”.  

“Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”  John 6:32-33.

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”  Galatians 3:24-26.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  Romans 7:4.

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