The zealotry of Paul came from somewhere. He had an intense appreciation for the facts of God in the life of the Jewish people that led him down the Path of the Pharisees. By his day, the religion of Judaism had become more of a culture and less of a discipline and this led to an impotent relationship with God. According to the cultural zeitgeist of Paul’s day, the daily gruel of Roman rule was due to his people rejecting the laws passed down by Moses and being exiled because of it. A lack of the law was the reason for the pain of his people. Because of this, he focused on the wrong patriarch. Because of the pain, he focused on Moses when he should’ve been studying Abraham. It would only be after God intervened with him directly that he would meet Abraham as more than a dusty figure from history. Instead, he would see him as the progenitor of a type of people. A people who lived by faith. This was the key lost to the Pharisees. Moses brought structure. But Abraham brought relationship. Many modern Christians fall into the same trappings. They take a real problem but will not to look revelation to address the cause. They only want to alleviate the system. In our relationship with God, the cause of a negative relationship is a lack of faith.
Please take note that Paul’s life convenience got worse when he became a believer. Immediately, he became persecuted and ostracized. Yet, he found, meaning and peace and love. Faith doesn’t create earthly prosperity, but it does cultivate earthly endurance and spiritual fulfillment. This has always been God’s interaction with his people, even when they didn’t acknowledge it. We can be thankful to God that he chose such a dynamic and philosophical figure to unpack these things for us. The rhythm between faith and works is a difficult rhythm of to enter, establish and maintain.