Axe Holders

7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you (Galatians 5).

The word “hindered” literally means “to cut down into,” giving the image of a tree being cut down over a road. Thus, the idea is these Galatians were “running well” on their road of faith until it was blocked by the obstacle of works. And Paul wants to know who held the ax. He already knows in general who the culprits are. Is he wanting names, or is he simply trying to help them see the teaching they have been listening to is “not from Him who calls you”—not from God.

It’s good to remember that it doesn’t take much to hinder any of us in our running the race of faith. Things can fall into our path that hinder us and make us take detours we shouldn’t take. And so often these hinderances come from those who are not even running the race along with us. 

Lord, help us This Day run our race of faith well, staying on the path you have set for us and being careful to avoid anything and any axe holder that would push us off of it. Amen.