omans 11: 1- 36, God’s plan for Israel, Part 3.
VV 1-6, 1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
V1, Has God cast away His people?
Certainly not! Paul himself was an Israelite, a biological descendent of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God had not given up on Israel whom He foreknew. When Elijah pleads his case to God, He said that He had preserved a remnant of Jews who had not bowed down to Baal. Even now, God had preserved a remnant of messianic Jews in Israel and in the world who believed in Christ. Salvation is by grace and divine election, not by good works.
1 Kings 19: 14, 18, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life…….Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
VV 7-10, 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: ‘’God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see, And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” 9 And David says: ‘’Let their table become a snare and a trap, recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”
V 7, Why is Israel not saved?
Because God had given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that are spiritually blind, and ears that are spiritually deaf.
Paul quoted Deut 29:8, ”God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day”
Psalm 69:22-23, “Let their table become a snare before them, And their well-being a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and make their loins shake continually”.
VV 11-15, 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
V 11, Did Israel stumble in vain?
Certainly not! Israel’s unbelief resulted in salvation of the Gentiles. Their unbelief benefited the Gentiles. God saved the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy so that some will repent and be saved. If the Jew’s unbelief reconciled the world, wouldn’t their belief benefit the world even more.
VV 16-21, 16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief, they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
If the fruit is Holy, the tree will be holy. If the root us holy, the branches will also be holy. Israel is the natural olive tree. Jews are its natural branches. When the Jews broke off, we, the Gentiles are grafted into the natural olive tree and grew as wild olive branches. Since we benefited from the Jews, we are not to boast or despise the Jews. If God can cut off the Jews, God can also cut us off.
VV 22-24, 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
We, the Gentiles need to consider the goodness and grace of God for grafting us into the natural olive tree. We, the Gentiles are grafted in due to faith but if we do not continue in faith, God will cut us off. Jews are cut off due to unbelief but if they believe, God will graft them back into the natural olive tree.
VV 25-27, 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘’The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Paul speaks about a mystery. Blindness happened to the Jews until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete. During the tribulation, God will divinely remove the Jew’s blindness and save a remnant of them.
Paul quoted Isaiah 59:20-21, “the redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord.”As for me, this is my covenant with them”.
VV 28-32, 28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31, even so, these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
The Jews were enemies of the gospel for us, the Gentile’s sake. The Jews were divinely elected for the sake of the Patriarchs. Divine election and God’s calling are irrevocable. We, the Gentiles, were once disobedient, but received grace through the Jews disobedience. One day, God will also have mercy on the Jews and remove their spiritual blindness to believe.
VV 33-36, 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 ‘’For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 ‘’Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
V 33, Who can understand the depth, riches, wisdom, knowledge, and judgments of God? V 34, for who has known the mind of God? Or who has become His counselor?
No one! God is unsearchable and unknowable except through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have a plan for Israel’s salvation during the tribulation. Thank you for giving us who are Gentiles, mercy and grace to believe in Christ. Thank You for the gift of salvation, justification, sanctification, and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.