This is Paul’s final remarks to his Roman audience, before he is brought there in person. He makes sure to end with some of the same points he began with. But his closing words are a reminder of his reason for writing; “To bring about the obedience of faith- to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen” (verse 27).
Something I was thinking about as I read our passage today was Paul’s comment about the revealing of a mystery that had been kept secret through the ages. But it had also been disclosed through the writings of the prophets. God didn’t let His secret out of the bag until it was all done.
Paul referenced writings done through the prophets when telling of Jesus’ saving works. But until Jesus’ work was fully done, those connections didn’t fall into place. Jesus fulfilled ALL the prophecies but the fullness of that didn’t appear until the work was complete and He showed them the truth. They saw the connections by looking back.
This happens in my life too. So many times I had one of these experiences last week. My husband is disabled and is requiring a lot more help lately. He also is exhausted most of the time and sleeps most of the day. We HAD to go out and do several things during the day and it was going to be a LONG day. We started with a fall and two clothing change events before even making it out of the house. I was planning to leave later than we did but he was getting anxious waiting. There were issues with the first errand and it took longer than expected but because of leaving early we still made it to our first appointment on time. That appointment actually started on time and went fairly well. We got out early enough that we had time to get lunch before heading off to our last stop of the day. This one took two hours to complete. My husband got frustrated with the waiting and began showing signs of fatigue. I had to coax him through it and help divert his attention until we were finally finished and under way. As soon as we got home he went straight to bed for the night. I was exhausted and frustrated from the day too. It took a lot out of both of us.
The next day my husband was still exhausted, as usual, and I stopped to think about the previous day. When he is tired he has more trouble doing anything, including walking and swallowing. The previous day we had difficulty but NOTHING like we could have had if he had been functioning per his new normal. God BLESSED us that day but I didn’t see it until I stopped to look back.
I can’t tell you how many times I have experienced this in my life; looking back and finally understanding the process. God gives us glimpses of what is to come but not the full revelation. Then we get to walk the road. We don’t always notice when we come to one of His “road signs” that He told us about as we are walking. But when the journey is over, IF we take the time to look back, we can see the wonder of it all. We can see His hand at work along the way. The only appropriate response at that point is PRAISE GOD!
Father God, THANK YOU for all the times You showed me just a glimpse of what was to come. Thank You for all the times You pointed out the places where You sustained me when the trial was done. Thank You that I can trust You to continue doing the same for the rest of my life here on earth.
Thank You Jesus for walking Your disciples through the full plan of salvation from first to last after You rose from the grave. I would have loved to have been with You on the road to Emmaus. Thank You for the glimpses You have shared with us concerning the end of time. I’m looking forward to You pointing out the “road signs” we passed when we finally get there.
We live life in only one direction do don’t always know for sure if what we think is the fulfillment of a prophecy is really it until the end. It’s kind of like labor and delivery. We know there are contractions and that they will initially result in birth but we don’t know which one will be the last one until it actually happens. We recognize the buildup but can’t recognize the end until afterwards. Sometimes we don’t even recognize the real beginning until it is all over. Thank You for the warnings and thank You that I can be certain that You will be with me through it ALL.