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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Sign, Symbol, Promise.

Galatians 3:1-18   Jeremiah 51-52   Psalm 144

“O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them?” (Psalm 144:3). Today’s scriptures contain profound signs and symbols of the unmerited favor that God bestows on those who believe. Consider it . . . God’s promise to Abraham . . . the extension of the promise to the children of Abraham . . . the inclusion of “those who believe” as “descendants of Abraham” (Galatians 3:6-9) . . . God “regarding” human beings. “Thinking” of us. “Reckoning” faith as righteousness. And “granting” promises. And none of it earned or merited . . . It is a story of amazing grace, symbolized powerfully in the concluding image in the book of Jeremiah:

“King Evil-merodach . . . showed favor to King Jehoiachin of Judah” (Jeremiah 52:31). And the nature of this favor? He brought him out of prison, spoke kindly to him, gave him a favored place at the dinner table, and provided him with a daily allowance! “As long as he lived” (Jeremiah 52:34). And not a bit of it was “earned.” From bondage to freedom . . . from prison to the King’s table . . . See this story for what it is: a sign and symbol of God’s promise fulfilled. For Jeremiah’s people, Jehoiachin’s release stood as a sign of Judah’s coming restoration. Yet, beyond this, it symbolizes the story of God with us . . .

“Those who believe are blessed” (Galatians 3:9). By becoming children of promise. Not by blood, sweat, tears, or merit, but by the unearned favor of God, who sets us free, brings us to the table, and sustains us day-by-day. By grace. And how shall we respond? By believing. And demonstrating that belief by putting aside our prison clothes and living as children of promise. Sign and symbol. Gift and response. May we live by faith in this promise. Daily. Amen.

“So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes, and every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table.”
— Jeremiah 52:33

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