Think About This:“This is the lot of every Christian—To receive mercy and grace instead of judgement and destruction because God has saved us by the redemptive judgement that is far more dramatic and glorious than the events of Jericho that day.” — Eric Watkins
Le Misérable Qui Pue
Posted on March 22, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?” Romans 7:24 (AMP)
There are times where I find myself staring into the mirror wondering, “What kinda man am I?” Not-for-nothing but, I’ve read countless books on how other Christian men made themselves better men of valor because they did what needed to be done. I’ve finally finished Tony Evan’s book Kingdom Man and I thought it contained some of the best spiritual advice a man of God could give and yet, I still felt I fell so short in so many areas that all that was left was… “O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver from the shackles of this body of death?” Not exactly something you should say to yourself while shaving, just sayin’.
But why am I even uttering something that I don’t fully understand? I mean, it’s a poppin’ verse, meant to literally grab your attention so you get the teaching that is taking place, but allow me to clear up the “this body of death” stuff for you. Ya’ll are aware that the Roman Empire had their own version of “crucify the flesh” and that they were better at it than any other sadistic regime that came before them. I found one that they did to common people who were found guilty of murdering the common citizenry…shackling them to their victim…face to face, wrist to wrist, hand to hand, ankle to ankle. This person was forced to face them remainder of their life, not only bearing the weight of their decaying victim, but eventually all that rot would rot them. How true that is? I’m unsure of – but Herod the Great just came to mind, wonder why? Anyway…
We know that the apostle Paul spent some time in Roman prisons and might have seen this practice up close and personal. So, what a perfectly graphical illustration of what that looks like, spiritually-speaking, when we decide to keep our old selves shackled to our new selves, so that, the rot that we once were is now affecting the new creature we seek to become. And the “kick in the tail” of it all, is that our adversary, sits right by us, constantly reminding us that who we once were will never go away, we won’t be accepted by Him. And all we’re gonna hear is “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Now, this may not be a good way to start the devotional that you were hoping would contain something of an encouragement, but now that the understanding is there we can move into better stuff…maybe.
“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” – Romans 7:22-23
We also have to remember that Paul was the Pharisee of Pharisees, so some things that are in the Torah would have still been relevant to Paul (and still is today). So what we see in the Book of Numbers, 19:11-13 to be exact, discusses that touching a dead human body was gonna require a detailed purification process in order for you to be amongst Gods Chosen. Not doing this meant you stayed away and left yourself vulnerable to whatever was outside the community. These days, we just stay outta the church building and do U-turns in the shopping aisles when we see Christians. Why? Because we know we smell like death. Hmm…didn’t see that coming, did ya?
If you wanna remain amongst the living for Christ you’re gonna have to purify yourself daily. I’m not talking about staying away from the family for seven days because you had a moment where you spoke unkind to your spouse…even though that might be a good idea (guess it depends on what you said). No, I’m talking about the complete package. Daily prayer and daily reading of God’s Word is always the recommended cure but ya gotta notice the word “daily.” We’re called to die to self daily, but there’s nothing in Scripture that says you need to keep what you’re trying to put to death on you…not even in the Red Letters. Maybe letting go is in order?
I’m reaching my word count for today but I would challenge you to look up the Scripture reference’s I quoted in Numbers, then come back to the seventh chapter of Romans and tell me you don’t read Romans 7:13-25 in a different light. In the meantime, don’t find yourself standing in front of a mirror, ready to shave, then saying to yourself you ain’t nothing but a stinky, old wretch of man. If you’re in Christ, you’re into something that smells divine. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; 20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20