Galatians 4:9-11. “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
To be known of God is an amazing concept. We hear of Him, we read of Him in His Word, and we feel we know Him. In truth, we know Him very little, and will spend all eternity learning of Him.
He, on the other hand, knows each one of us; knows our propensity for sin, and our need of a Savior. In the song I Will Sing the Wondrous Story, we find the words “I was lost, but Jesus found me, Found the sheep that went astray; Threw His loving arms around me, Drew me back into His way.”
And once we have been known of God, how is it possible to leave that incredible place of blessing to return to a legal system that is no longer necessary? It’s kind of like going back to eating margarine after you’ve enjoyed the taste of butter!
To depend on feasts, forms, and ceremonies is no longer the way to please God. To love His Son, and to gladly receive the salvation offered by His death and resurrection, is so much richer; it is free, and it creates freedom. It takes only belief, and true believers will not desire to go back to the rituals.
Paul says he is afraid of having wasted his time and work on them, because they are being so easily seduced back into keeping all the laws when it is no longer necessary to do so. He fears that he has labored in vain. He fears that their conversion was not genuine, their hearts not truly changed.