We’ve read Romans 9 and 10 the past two days, just as I did as I sat on the promenade, overlooking the Old City, Temple Mount, and Mount of Olives. Just as my view revealed past, present, and future, so do the Scriptures. Let’s wrap up our reading today with Romans 11 (HCSB), as we consider God’s perspective. Read aloud if possible.
I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he pleads with God against Israel?
3 Lord, they have killed Your prophets
and torn down Your altars.
I am the only one left,
and they are trying to take my life!
4 But what was God’s reply to him? I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal. 5 In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. 6 Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
7 What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, 8 as it is written:
God gave them a spirit of insensitivity,
eyes that cannot see
and ears that cannot hear,
to this day.
9 And David says:
Let their feasting become a snare and a trap,
a pitfall and a retribution to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent continually.
11 I ask, then, have they stumbled in order to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their stumbling[i] brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full number bring!
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. In view of the fact that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if I can somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 Now if the firstfruits offered up are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, 18 do not brag that you are better than those branches. But if you do brag—you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 True enough; they were broken off by unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. 22 Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God’s kindness toward you—if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from your native wild olive and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these—the natural branches—be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: A partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all[l] Israel will be saved, as it is written:
The Liberator will come from Zion;
He will turn away godlessness from Jacob.
27 And this will be My covenant with them
when I take away their sins.
28 Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the patriarchs, 29 since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. 30 As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience, 31 so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments
and untraceable His ways!
34 For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor?
35 Or who has ever first given to Him,
and has to be repaid?
36 For from Him and through Him
and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.