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September 23

Reading for Today:

  • Isaiah 37:1–38:22
  • Psalm 109:14-20
  • Proverbs 26:1
  • Galatians 1:1-24


Isaiah 37:29 hook in your nose…bridle in your lips. In judging Sennacherib, the Lord treated him as an obstinate animal with a ring in his nose and/or a bridle in his mouth. Some ancient sources indicate that captives were led before a king by a cord attached to a hook or ring through the upper lip and nose. Thus, he was to be brought back to his own country.

Isaiah 37:36 the angel of the LORD. This was Isaiah’s only use of a title that is frequent in the Old Testament, one referring to the Lord Himself. killed. Secular records also mention this massive slaughter of Assyrian troops, without noting its supernatural nature, of course.

Galatians 1:12 neither received it from man, nor was I taught it. In contrast to the Judaizers, who received their religious instruction from rabbinic tradition. Most Jews did not study the actual Scriptures; instead they used human interpretations of Scripture as their religious authority and guide. Many of their traditions not only were not taught in Scripture but also contradicted it (Mark 7:13). through the revelation. This refers to the unveiling of something previously kept secret—in this case, Jesus Christ. While he knew about Christ, Paul subsequently met Him personally on the road to Damascus and received the truth of the gospel from Him (Acts 9:1–16).

Galatians 1:17 Jerusalem…Arabia,…Damascus. Rather than immediately travel to Jerusalem to be instructed by the apostles, Paul instead went to Nabatean Arabia, a wilderness desert that stretched east of Damascus down to the Sinai peninsula. After being prepared for ministry by the Lord, he returned to minister in nearby Damascus.

Galatians 1:18 three years. The approximate time from Paul’s conversion to his first journey to Jerusalem. During those years he made a visit to Damascus and resided in Arabia, under the instruction of the Lord. This visit is discussed in Acts 9:26–30. up to Jerusalem. Travelers in Israel always speak of going up to Jerusalem because of its higher elevation. see. Better translated, “to become acquainted with.” Peter. The apostle who was the personal companion of the Lord and the most powerful spokesman in the early years of the Jerusalem church (Acts 1–12).

DAY 23: What was so shocking to Paul about the Galatians?

That the Galatians were “turning away” (1:6). This is better translated “deserting.” The Greek word was used of military desertion, which was punishable by death. The form of this Greek verb indicates that the Galatian believers were voluntarily deserting grace to pursue the legalism taught by the false teachers. “So soon.” This Greek word can mean either “easily” or “quickly” and sometimes both. No doubt both senses characterized the Galatians’ response to the false teachers’ heretical doctrines. “Called you.” This could be translated, “Who called you once and for all” (2 Thess. 2:13, 14; 2 Tim. 1:8, 9; 1 Pet. 1:15), and refers to God’s effectual call to salvation. “Grace of Christ.” God’s free and sovereign act of mercy in granting salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ, totally apart from any human work or merit. “Different gospel.” The Judaizers’ perversion of the true gospel. They added the requirements, ceremonies, and standards of the Old Covenant as necessary prerequisites to salvation.

“Some who trouble you” (v. 7). The Greek word could be translated “disturb” and means “to shake back and forth,” meaning to agitate or stir up. Here, it refers to the deep emotional disturbance the Galatian believers experienced. “Pervert.” To turn something into its opposite. By adding law to the gospel of Christ, the false teachers were effectively destroying grace, turning the message of God’s undeserved favor toward sinners into a message of earned and merited favor. “The gospel of Christ.” The good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Throughout history God has devoted certain objects, individuals, and groups of people to destruction or to be “accursed” (Josh. 6:17, 18; 7:1, 25, 26). Here the Judaizers are identified as members of this infamous company. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven” (v. 8). Paul’s point is hypothetical, calling on the most unlikely examples for false teaching—himself and holy angels. The Galatians should receive no messenger, regardless of how impeccable his credentials, if his doctrine of salvation differs in the slightest degree from God’s truth revealed through Christ and the apostles. “Accursed.” The translation of the familiar Greek word anathama, which refers to devoting someone to destruction in eternal hell (Rom. 9:3; 1 Cor. 12:3; 16:22).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,