Greater Zeal for Idolatry than for true Worship

I read this from C.F.W. Walther’s God Grant it devotions book today in preparation for Sunday’s sermon:

“We read that the Israelites were more zealous when they set up idolatrous and false worship than when proper worship was conducted among them by the faithful servants of God. When, for example, Aaron made the golden calf for the people, they were ready to joyfully sacrifice their golden treasures for this idol worship. However, when Moses insisted upon the worship of the only true god, these same people were annoyed with him and slow to agree. And so it has been in all ages.”

A most exceptional insight. By the way, for those of you preaching on the One-Year Series this weekend, Walther’s devotion book has some nice insights into the text, though I am not sure I completely agree with his take on John 20, when he says that Scripture says of every Christian congregation, “If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld” (John 20:23). I could have sworn that Christ was talking to the apostles as ministers. But that’s Walther for you. Still, some good insights into the Parable of the Weeds.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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2 Responses to Greater Zeal for Idolatry than for true Worship

  1. Ben Mayes says:

    For what it’s worth, Johann Gerhard understands John 20:21-23 as the ordination of the apostles. (I’m editing his commonplace “On the Ministry” right now.)

  2. Rev. Paul L. Beisel says:

    I like it! I agree with Gerhard. John 20, Matthew 28, Matthew 26, here Christ is giving commands to the Ministry.

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