1 Cor 7:29 – But this I say, brethren, the time is short…….
Positioned within an instruction on marriage (the most sacred man to woman covenant) is a revelation verse re the urgency of our Kingdom prioritization of time – which is becoming more and more critical as we witness daily-increasing rage, confusion, turmoil and spiritual warfare. Paul was/is declaring a universal truth that should be respected and complied with regardless of even the most critical situation of ___________________ (fill in your own blank). Its “interruptive” scriptural positioning is not interruptive at all. Its positioning is to valuate its priority, and is similar to the 1 Corinthians “love chapter” interrupting Paul’s important discourse on spiritual gifts: Without love, exercise of spiritual gifting is vain and simply noisy.
Here, Paul is telling us that all things, even marriage, must be properly addressed within a context of divine urgency.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,
30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,
31 and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.
Paul is neither being insensitive nor heartless. He’s not telling us marriage isn’t sacred or not worthy of critical priority. He’s telling us the Kingdom priority is the Kingdom priority, and from such a perspective, all other things will then work properly.
JESUS TOLD US:
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
JESUS MODELED FOR US – fully cognizant of the “first commandment with a promise” (honoring father and mother), our young Lord nonetheless personally modeled Kingdom prioritization for us by lingering in the temple without his parents knowledge (or, therefore, permission):
48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
The brief book of Haggai is a case study of diligent labors failing, outside the priorities of God. The happy conclusion is the people getting things right and God responding with a promise of blessing, even though the season for agricultural abundance would be contradictory to natural logic.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
Paul foresaw that these words would be susceptible to “works-based” accusation (“Let no one despise you” – when you speak these inconvenient truths). He nonetheless wrote them, and told Titus (and all others) to proclaim and comply with them, because he loves the church and desires our destiny to be fulfilled.