In which a 26 year old biblical mystery is solved

by Craig on July 28, 2011


All of this biblical daisy picking. It was only started to provide the context for understanding James 2:17, “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Biblical daisies are all explained here – if biblical daisies are a new thing to you – please go read that first – and what follows will make much more sense.

I expected the daisy picking to be fun. I didn’t expect it to reveal huge discoveries…

like these:
•    Faith, while it is a gift of God, is also a “work” (here)
•    and yesterday’s biblical proof that faith need not be perfect in order to “save”. (here)

Even today’s daisy…
for some it might not be a new or big revelation…
but for me it was both new and monumental…



the ripples of context…

The broader context: Paul is planning to visit the church at Rome. This letter was kind of a sum up of his doctrine, so that when he got there they’d know the basics.

The nearer context: He’s just written about us being adopted children of God – and that everything that happens to us, good or bad, He will use to conform us to the image of his Son – to make us more like Him.

The upcoming context is a little extensive and includes some older context: – and also holds the next daisy:

The “children of Abraham” had forgotten the lesson of Abraham…
that faith, our imperfect faith, is the key…
faith in the Giver of the law of Moses…
and obedience by faith and love to the Giver of the law of Moses…
Not faith in the law of Moses itself…
and not in “works” of the law done in order to “work” a way to God.

God gave them the law of Moses to repeatedly reveal how much they needed his mercy.
Then he brought that mercy to their doorstep in the person of Our Lord Jesus.
But they rejected that mercy…
and the adopted children, under a new covenant of Grace, took the place of the old…
with faith being the key that remains unchanged.

The immediate context: Israel has a special place in God’s heart. They were the heirs to all of his promises, but…

…the daisy verse, Romans 9:12 (with 10 and 11 thrown in for context)

And not only that, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one husband, our father Isaac – before they had yet been born or had done anything, good or bad, in order that God’s elective plan might continue, not by works but by his call–she was told, “The older shall serve the younger.”

Honestly, that story has bothered me from the very start of my faith – for 26 years!

I get it now!


And this is such a big thing that I want to carry it over one more day to really give it some thought, and some prayer, and some study before moving on…


please come back.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin July 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I heart your posts! Always something to chew on…to ponder:)
Will be back!

ps if you are interested in my homeless pieces, you might like to see one of the projects we do for this ministry …posted today as “Plarn Balls”


Craig July 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Kristin, I was on the run so I didn’t leave a comment when I read the “plarn” ball post. But I DID read – I’ve never, ever heard of that idea!! The problem of the homeless is such a difficult one to solve – and it would be really neat if we all have the kind of heart that you have. I think the plarn ball project is amazing – and I really heart that you’re doing it.

PS – really sorry I’m so late responding to your comment – and that I didn’t leave the comment on your site rather than here in these words – sorry, really sorry. God bless you Kristin!!


A. August 1, 2011 at 10:45 am

Oddly, what spoke to me so much in this post, and much did, was the photo of all those white, vibrant daisies that faced the sky though the dark clouds loomed! Loved that, Craig!


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