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Romans 11.1 - 12

posted 14 Jun 2013, 02:11 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
Now I ask you, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! I’m living proof that God is faithful. I am an Israelite, Abraham’s my father, and Benjamin’s my tribe. God has not, and will not, abandon His covenant people; He always knew they would belong to Him. Don’t you remember the story of what happens when Elijah pleads with God to deal with Israel? The Scripture tells us his protest: “Lord, they have murdered Your prophets, they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left faithful to You; now they are seeking to kill me.”[a] How does God answer his pleas for help? He says, “I have held back 7,000 men who are faithful to Me; none have bowed a knee to worship Baal.”[b] The same thing is happening now. God has preserved a remnant, elected by grace. Grace is central in God’s action here, and it has nothing to do with deeds prescribed by the law. If it did, grace would not be grace.

Now what does all this mean? Israel has chased an end it has never reached. Yet those chosen by God through grace have reached it while all others were made hard as stones. The Scriptures continue to say it best:

God has confounded them so they are not able to think,
    given them eyes that do not see, and ears that do not hear,
Down to this very day.[c]

David says it this way:

Let their table be turned into a snare and a trap,
    an obstacle to peace and payback for their hostility.
10 Let their bright eyes become cloudy, darkened so they cannot see,
    and bend their proud backs through it all.[d]

11 So I ask: did God’s people stumble and fall off the deep end? Absolutely not! They are not lost forever; but through their misconduct, the door has been opened for salvation to extend even to the outsiders. This has been part of God’s plan all along, and so is the jealousy that comes when they realize the outsiders have been welcomed into God’s new covenant. 12 So if their misconduct leads ultimately to God’s riches coming to the world and if their failure turns into the blessing of salvation to all people, then how much greater will be the riches and blessing when they are included fully?