Tod Kennedy, August 23, 2015
Section 4: God and Israel—what about Israel? Romans 9-11
Romans 9 theme statement: God is just in choosing Israel to be his redeemer nation
- Romans 9:1-5. At this point in Paul’s letter he voices his great sorrow about Israel. She has such a great heritage (adoption, glory, covenants, Law, religious service, promises, Christ) from God as his choice or elect nation to bring in redemption, yet Israel is not experiencing God’s blessings at this time because she has rejected the way of redemption which is faith in Jesus the Christ, as noted in Romans 3.3 and 9.30-33.
- Romans 9:6-13. Israel’s failure is not evidence that God has failed to keep His word. Israel is still God’s choice nation and in God’s plan. God has the right to select the nation Israel. Paul explains that the line of promise and redemption is through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 50:24; Exodus 33:1; Deuteronomy 6:10; Acts 7:8; many more). These three are related to God through God’s choice, God’s promise, and faith response to him.
- Romans 9:14-29. God cannot be accused of unfairness in selecting Israel. He has the right to choose to whom he will show mercy and to whom he will show wrath. This fact Paul then illustrates in several ways: by Moses pleading for Israel (Exodus 32-33), by Pharaoh rejecting God and God subsequently hardening him so that he let Israel leave (Exodus 7.1;5; 9.12; and others), by God molding the nation Israel for a purpose as a potter does clay (Jeremiah 18.1-12), by God calling out the church made up of Jews and Gentiles as indicated by Paul using Hosea’s words for Gentiles, “not my people” and “not beloved,” (Romans 9.24), and by having a remnant of Israel who will in the future be saved (Romans 9.27).
- Romans 9:30-33. Faith in God’s promises are the needed human response by all people. The Gentiles are not God’s appointed redemptive people, but they believed God and attained righteousness while Israel tried to get righteousness by works instead of by faith. They stumbled over Jesus the Messiah. Though God chose Israel to be his redemptive nation, the way of individual salvation is by faith in Jesus Messiah, the stone of stumbling and rock of offense. Israel as a nation has temporarily stumbled at him and Gentiles have believed in him.