Romans 2 always felt like filler. I don’t say this to be a provocateur, it’s just that between the proclamations of Romans 1:16-17 and Chapter 3, it looks to these untrained eyes like the valley in between two hills.
That being said there appears to be much that this chapter has to offer than in my previous reads through it. Namely that the theme Paul seems to develop in this chapter don’t bode well for a pompous and arrogant human being such as myself.
In fact, since I think in music much of the time, a good soundtrack to Romans 2 and the first part of Romans 3 is the 70’s soul song “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down.”
Granted it’s not a perfect fit, but the image of someone systematically destroying the preconceived notions of a proud person are in perfect keeping with Ann Peebles. This is a warning shot towards the arrogant. And I include myself in that category. It was only a few days ago that I was a person who demanded reverence and adoration from other people in my approach to relationships.
I noticed this verse in my reading this morning:
“There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:9-11)
So it’s that simple. Or not. These verses aimed at hypocrisy cut me:
“…you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.” (Romans 2:21-23)
One of my history professors in college once gave the axiom “Cut a man open and you will see, it is a hypocrite who bleeds.”
I can’t tell you how many times in my life where I have failed to live up to the ideals that I claim to believe in. The thoughts of those moments haunt me from time to time and lay waste to any kind of pridefulness I may have. My guilty conscience at the very least ought to have convinced that was not worthy of the adoration I sought for myself a long time ago More than that, it should have convinced me that Jesus needed to be on the throne of my life at a much sooner point and I should have abdicated.
And that is just out of a couple of sections of Chapter 2. He continues to pile on in Chapter 3.
“But I’ve got news for you,
I hope it don’t hit you too hard.
One of these days while you’re at play
I’m gonna catch you off guard.
I’m gonna tear your playhouse down room by room.“