Relevant Text: Rom. 9:30-31
Full Text: Job 5; Rom. 9

Queen | In 1992, when Australian PM Paul Keating dared to touch the Queen, he earned the nickname, “The Lizard of Oz” [1]. After all, he should’ve known that, according to protocol, you’re not supposed to touch the Queen. You’re not even supposed to initiate a handshake [2]. In 2009, however, something “absolutely extraordinary” happened. The Queen and the First Lady put their arms around each other. According to an eyewitness, “No one – including the ladies-in-waiting standing nearby – could believe their eyes. In 57 years, the Queen has never been seen to make that kind of gesture and it is certainly against all protocol to touch her” [3].

King | If such formal protocol is observed when meeting a mere human monarch of a single country, then what is expected when approaching the King of Kings? One thing is certain – the Law demands far more than protocol; it demands an entire lifestyle: “Be holy as I am holy” [4]. Yet, as Paul has shown, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks after God” [5]. Thus, we have a problem. We want to meet with the King, but we cannot because we are unrighteous sinners.

Lord | The Law, however, was intended to awaken in our hearts a longing for something to bridge the gap between its righteous requirements and our inability to meet them. In other words, it was meant to make us long for Jesus and his righteousness [6]. How do we get his righteousness to be our own? We pursue it as a gift to be cherished, not a wage to be earned: “What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law? Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works” [7].

Prayer | Lord, You are holy and, therefore, unrighteousness cannot stand in your presence. Thus, we tremble at the impossible standards of the Law, knowing that we are hopeless sinners apart from your grace in Jesus. In him, we believe and are forgiven. Thus, we rejoice in the Law because its requirements have been met in him. Today, as we approach you with imperfect faith and obedience, we see and savor his righteousness as our only hope. Amen.



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[1] Jimmy Orr. Michelle Obama hugs Queen – breaks royal protocol! The Christian Science Monitor. 2 April 2009.  |  [2] Good Morning America. Royal Etiquette: Talking to the Queen. 7 May 2007. An interview with Paul Gauger, the director of regional press for VisitBritain. See ABC Nightline. Royal Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts When Meeting Her Majesty. 1 April 2009.  |  [3] Id. at FN1  |  [4] This is the oft-repeated phrase and one sentence summary of the entire book of Leviticus.  |  [5] Rom. 3:9-11 ESV  |  [6] c.f. Rom. 9:4-5  |  [7] Rom. 9:30-31 ESV