In which I can’t get no “justification” with yellow daisies!

by Craig on July 19, 2011


We can’t be justified by yellow daisies.

But “justified” is church-ese. What’s “justified”?

Simple – taking someone who is guilty, and declaring them “not guilty”.

If I’m guilty I don’t live forever in the presence of the One True God who will not stand with the guilty.

So clearly, I want me some “justification”!

Paul says I can’t get no “justification” with yellow daisies!

By the way, if talk of biblical daisies and salvation is new – and a little weird to you – this post explains everything. You kinda need it, or the subject of biblical daisies will be all gibberish-y. But if you do read it – you’ll heart the daisies!

The daisy context…

The big context: Paul is writing a letter to the church at Rome. He planned on visiting them. This letter was kind of a sum up of his doctrine, so that when he got there his words would precede him.

The smaller context: Paul just finished writing about God’s judgment on both those who don’t believe, and those who are counted among the church (us).

The immediate context: about how the law of Moses fits into God’s judgment.


the daisy verse…

…no human being will be justified in his [God’s] sight by observing the law [of Moses]; for through the law comes consciousness of sin. (ROM 3:20)

My translation (NAB) instead of going with the literal translation of the Greek, “works of the law” goes with “observing the law”. This is beginning to drive me a little crazy, so I checked the other translations:

•    (NIV, NAB) “observing the law [of Moses]” (the two translations were completed at about the same time – one Catholic, the other Protestant – kind of dueling translations. I’m thinking they sometimes copied off the others’ papers)
•    (ESV and NASB) “works of the law” (word for word – how about that!)
•    (ISV) “works prescribed by the law” (You’re kidding me right? A hybrid translation? They took the NIV and NAB “observing the law” and mixed it together with the literal translation of the ESV and NASB “works of the law”. Either they’re trying extra hard to get us to understand the meaning in context – or they’re riding the fence – big time.)
•    (KJV) “deeds of the law” (and now I think translators are just trying to be difficult!)

The bottom line is that “observing the law of Moses”,
or doing “works of the law of Moses”,
or doing “works prescribed by the law of Moses”,
or doing “deeds of the law of Moses”,

It’s all the same…


yellow daisies…

Romans 3:20 is a yellow daisy – trying to gain salvation by means of following – to a T – the moral laws of God as handed down to Moses.

Paul says the main thing the law of Moses is good for is to make us realize how impossible it is to keep. It leads us to the context immediately following this daisy – justification apart from the law of Moses.

Bottom line…

I’m created for 1st Corinthians Love…

white daisies…

and my white daisies fall short…

just as yellow daisies do…

A bouquet of daisies, no matter the color, won’t do.

I need a different flower in the bouquet…


The red rose of grace.

This daisy picking keeps coming back to this…

The faithful but imperfect quest for perfection…

and grace for the quest.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie July 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I love how it keeps coming back to grace, Craig! Thank you for confirming that! God bless you and your bouquet!


Craig July 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Debbie, it does keep coming back to grace. Without that nothing would be good enough. After I’m done picking daisies in looking at what I’ve got, there still come words like justification, and judgment, and faith – faith will need to be defined. But you are so right – without the red rose there is no bouquet. God bless you Debbie!


Cora July 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I’m with Debbie —- I love the red roses in that vase!!! I’m thinking I need tiny stickers of daisies in the different colors that I can stick next to all these verses ‘cuz “yellow daisy” is a whole lot easier to understand now than all that deep splaining. I think the older we get, the more we REALLY understand that there ain’t no justification through yellow daisies ‘cuz I can’t follow the rules to the T. It’s all about the red roses, isn’t it! Thank you!


Craig July 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

let’s see… I didn’t want to make any decisions until I was done picking all the daisies – but if I were to go with the choice right now I’d say the bouquet darn well better have a lot of white daisies, imperfect of course, but there – and a few yellow daisies isn’t bad – a purple Daisy or two would be cool but certainly not necessary, and whit-sh green daisies – forget about the black daisies, and that one red rose – sooner or later faith is going to get a flower too. But yes, everything begins with the red rose. God bless you Cora!


Michelle July 20, 2011 at 4:35 am

I may have to rethink …. roses (the standard, no smelling ones) have never been my favourite flowers … unless they are the unruly, old-style, smelly ones. The ones that really smell like a rose. So, I’m just going to re-picture your bouquet above with the deep red, old-style, unruly ones in my garden. Such a picture of grace. (I lived in our house here for nearly a year before I found these, hidden under/behind another plant. I smelled them, then found them, and cut back the other plant big time to keep them on show.)


Craig July 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Amen about the roses Michelle – I don’t like the ones that don’t smell like a rose – I heart the smell of a rose – and the ones that don’t smell don’t count. The fragrance of grace has to be awesome – so no non-smelly roses!! God bless you and keep you Michelle.


Christina July 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

Since rose isy middle name–I’m loving, or hearting rather, the rose of grace. Just love the way you’ve used flowers to explain it all. I was thinking recently about the law’s function to reveal sin and show our need for Christ as I wrote up our own family “laws” and talked with the boys about it. My boys need the law to show them what is expected but they will always fall short. It’s my job to point them to the cross when they do. Thanks for another great post!


Craig August 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Christina – someone just left a comment on this post – and I noticed my original reply wasn’t really a reply – I made it a comment by mistake – so I’m correcting that now :-) this is what I wrote back on the 20th:

Christina Rose – beautiful – i’s a beautiful name. You put the two of those together and that’s like a bouquet all of its own. The name of Our Lord and the flower representing his gift – wow! And I heart what you’re doing with your family lawn – what’s expected – and then grace. I heart that lots! Thank you Christina Rose, and God bless you and all of yours.



A. August 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

My mind is rusty right now, but the rose of Sharon, in the bible….what did that symbolize?


Craig August 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

A. It may or may not have been a rose – but a different kind of flower that grows in that region. Since the bridegroom in the song of Solomon – from where it comes (2:1) – since many people believe that is figuratively Jesus – the bridegroom of the church – when the author says “I am the rose of Sharon” – then it would be Jesus speaking of himself. Still – it fits and real well with the Daisy thing – the red rose of grace – a pretty red field flower rising up from the parched ground dust – not bad — Good catch A.


A. August 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm

You are right, Craig, the Rose of Sharon flower looks like a hollyhock and grows on a bush…at least the ones I have seen. They were pinkish lavendar but may possibly come in other colors. I haven’t checked. Thank you for explaining that!


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