— by Pastor Adekoya Akinbode
Israel is not forgotten or forsaken or cast away!
Some important things about God’s agenda for the Jews have already been expounded or emphasized upon in the review on chapter 9. As factual as it is that the Jews are not yet saved (come to the knowledge of God’s righteousness by faith in Christ and eschew seeking to be made righteous through obedience to the law), it’s not all that are yet to be saved (though only very few are saved) and it doesn’t mean that they are being cast away as a people.
Paul gave an example of himself, being a Jew, yet saved by grace. And, not just that, an Apostle of Jesus. That to show that some are in Israel that are already partakers of the grace of God’s election. Just as it was in the days of Elijah, when he assumed he was the last man standing. God revealed to him that there are yet 7000 others who are yet to compromise. So, though Israel as a Nation is yet to experience salvation by faith in the grace of God, there are those in Israel who are saved already, and the rest are yet not cast away. As seen in the chapter, they all will be saved when the fullness of time is come (that is, when the chosen ones among the Gentiles have come to the saving knowledge of Christ and have been saved).
Romans 11: 25. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN. 26. And SO ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB:
Just like the analogy of the potter and the clay in the previous chapter, where Paul made us understand that God as a Potter moulds the clay and determines its purpose. Same modus operandi applies in this chapter.
God, upon Whose sovereign will is the plan of salvation predicated intently allows for blindness and deafness to happen to the Jews to allow us (Gentiles) to receive adoption of children by Jesus Christ and to through us manifest His glory, stirring the Jews up to jealousy!
Remember, the Jews were first to be ADOPTED by God to be His people, chosen ones or vessels on earth. The Old Testament books are inundated with the stories of how God manifested His glory through them and earmarked them for His special task on earth. God chose them not for any other reason but because they’re the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When they suddenly became rebellious despite the gracious acts of God among them, God decided that in the fullness of time, when the redemption plan shall be practically effected, He will extend His saving hand, His riches, His glory to the Gentiles who believe.
God’s Mind is that as the Jews see the mighty workings of God among the Gentiles (which by covenant should be done among them) they will become jealous. Imagine when your parents go out to adopt a child and five all the attention to the child; feed the child with most sumptuous meals you know should be for you; clothes befitting you are stored up for this newly adopted child. How would you feel? Especially knowing that your parents are doing that just to make you jealous and come back to your expected self (because you suddenly grew wings against their instructions!)?
That’s the exact scenario here.
Via God’s dealings with the Jews, they became the envy of the entire nations on earth, even arguably till date. That’s why some born again Christian like to or want to start living as Jews, following (as a matter of doctrines and lifestyles) the legalistic writings of/for the Jews. But, if Christianity be Christianity, having the understanding of God’s original plan for us in Christ Jesus, more of the Jews should count it a rare privilege for me and you to receive them into our house than the multitudes going to Jerusalem every year for pilgrimage.
God in His Plan made provisions for us to come into His riches in glory by the grace of election, through Christ Jesus and by connecting us to the Abrahamic blessing.
In other words, through Christ, we have been connected to Abraham to experience and enjoy what the real children of Abraham in the flesh should be enjoying.
Paul knows so much about the dimension of glory that God wants to manifest through us in the now, which is the reason He (God) has us grafted in the olive tree (accepted in the beloved). Paul looks forward to seeing this glory manifesting among the Gentile believers perhaps that will help in convincing his people about the grace of God in Christ Jesus, that they might be saved.
Beloved, there’s more to use in Christ Jesus. God’s plan is to have us as vessels through which His glory would be seen to the envy of those the world is envying, the Jews! Prevaricating and going back and forth in faith, today grace, tomorrow with the law and back again to grace when the law has messed you up, won’t take you far.
Let your heart be established in the grace of God and believe Him to reveal His glory in and through you.
May the Lord give us understanding.
Romans 11: 21. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
The above (particularly very 21) should not trouble any BELIEVER.
The reason why we are grafted in to partake of the ROOT and FATNESS of the olive is because we BELIEVED! Not that the law marked us right or that we qualify by our own works. On the other hand, the reason the Jews (branches) are broken off is because of their unbelief.
To us that believe, God’s goodness abound. The severity of God is to the unbelieving Jews. Or, do we have any UNBELIEVER amongst us?
So, rest assured that God’s goodness abound towards you as long as you’re not planning to switch to the demands of the law but CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS!
Romans 11: 33. O 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 hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? 35. Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
To think that God intentionally shut the Jews out of His glorious plan for our sakes. They do not believe so that we might believe and be accepted in the beloved engrafted!?
More personally, God has me in mind so He goes as far as turning away from His Old Covenant adopted children just to have and focus on me? To reveal His glory in and through me? Some (the Jews) are caught off for me to be engrafted?
What a wise God!
What a gracious God!
What a plan!
WHO can question Him?
Should I as well question Him or continually praise Him for all these He self-planned and self-executed plan in my favor?
Oh, glory! Glory! Glory! Glory!