This is a difficult passage! There has been an obvious violation carried out in the congregation and the members are not only condoning but are accepting the immorality of the situation and are doing nothing about it. They should have been ‘ grief-stricken‘. Paul is appalled, urging the believers to be aware that claiming to belong to Christ means behaving in a way that honours Him and thus honours all others and also having a real compassion for one another which leads to action. The reminder for us as we read is to watch our own behaviour ensuring that when we slip up we seek Christ’s help
to be aware,
to ask for forgiveness and
to make sure we don’t continue on that sinful path.
There is another warning too that we do not become complacent and allow the world’s standards to become our standards in the church.
Jesus’ words in Matthew (chapter 7:1-5) are the parallel truth that we must also practise, ‘do not judge or you too will be judged ……’ reminding us to check our own behaviour before going in to battle.
If you have persevered with the Chronicles lists of dynasties over the last few days you, like us, may have been encouraged by the last verse from today’s reading. The descendants of Asher are described as ‘ choice men, brave warriors, outstanding leaders.’ They are the only ones with such a commendation. It would be wonderful for our descendants to be similarly remembered.
Peter and Elizabeth Smart.