Romans 9:14-33 Israel’s Rejection of God’s Justice

Paul exposed Israel’s rejection of Christ and God’s purpose for His chosen people through His one and only begotten son. Now the apostle directs his rebuke at Israel’s rejection of God’s justice bases on the new covenant that is Christ’s blood shed on the cross as a gateway to salvation.

Paul’s election raises a question among believers and skeptics alike. Why would God choose one nation and reject another? In the following verses Paul provides an answer to this age old question…

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:14-15)

Based on God’s choice of Isaac over Ishmael, or Jacob over Esau Paul justifies the will of God as one based on our live for Him rather than His love for us which is unconditional. It is us who choose our destiny, either darkness or light, heaven or hell. God’s choice is based on predestination as the all knowing creator hand picks His heirs based on their faith in His son and only savior or man, Jesus Christ.

16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:16-17)

Man’s desire for effort is based on works which are not defining of one’s salvation since faith and grace are critical elements of rebirth in Christ. Pharaoh was raised by God to eventually be exposed as a failure not only because of his desire to ignore God, but his willingness to be punished as a result of misdirected worship.

18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” (Romans 9:18-19)

Only a fool resists God’s will. Anyone blessed with the knowledge of heaven and hell, with the truth about Jesus Christ would surrender to God thereby inheriting the gift of eternal life. Believers who find themselves hardened by God should not ask why their lives pose challenges brought on by the Lord but be thankful for His presence.

20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21)

While it is perfectly natural for humans to question the meaning of life it is indeed disrespectful to question God’s will for us which often is a result of our own disobedience. God’s plan is perfect and His will for us is predestined according to our faith in His son Jesus Christ.

22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?” (Romans 9:22)

The Jewish nation had been reluctant to accept Jesus Christ as the promised begotten son of God, as such God predestined the fate of Israel as He prepared His chosen nation for destruction.

23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:23-24)

Here Paul describes the preparation for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved, rather than the preparation of each individual.

25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ” (Romans 9:25-26)

Paul used old testament scripture to illustrate his point thereby reinforcing the truth about God’s will upon all creation, even the Gentiles who were considered to be among God’s chosen people until the new covenant brought on by Jesus Christ.

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” (Romans 9:27-28)

Paul quotes Isaiah as he prophesied a large number of Israelites would turn from God’s mercy, falling to the enemy as they refused to accept Jesus as their savior.

29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.” (Romans 9:29)

Counted as heir to God’s kingdom the nation of Israel was spared condemnation brought onto Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins and denial of the truth.

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.” (Romans 9:30-31)

The Jews who pursued righteousness through a law they could not keep were condemned while Gentiles who pursue righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ stand to be rewarded by God’s grace. While this may seem unfair toward the Jews it is according to God’s will that salvation reigns rather then decided by works.

32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 9:32-33)

Again Paul reiterates the fact it is by faith we are saved, not by works which cause men to stumble, to boast. The stumbling stone, which is faith in Jesus Christ was prophesied by Isaiah yet rejected by many Jews who found themselves pursuing righteousness through the law rather than faith.

The message Paul delivers here is clearly spelled out in the final verse of this chapter, that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will inherit eternal life, either Jew or Gentile. Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.