Episode #128. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 11 together. Israel’s rejection is neither total nor final, and Paul adds a hymn of praise. You might recognize it!
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #128. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 11 together: Israel’s rejection is neither total nor final, and Paul adds a hymn of praise. You might recognize it!
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Our friends, Hans & Susie, asked us to go kayaking. Well, to be honest, Mitch saw Hans at church and told him that we would like to invite ourselves to go kayaking with them. (There are some things you can only say to good friends.) But, after all that initiating, I almost backed out.
I really wanted to go, and I knew it would be good for me to go. I really wanted to catch up with Susie and I knew I would be glad I went.
But I was feeling overwhelmed. Work has been crazy, and I was irritated that working extra days had infringed on my wonderfully balanced plan of getting ahead on the podcast. I was not only not ahead but I was trying to play catch-up. I even got snippy with Mitch, which is so un-Godly, I’m embarrassed to even say it out loud.
Sunset for a Savage Soul
I was in full-throttle magic wand mode. Where’s my magic wand?! Who took it? What do you mean there’s no such thing? Oh, how this grown up woman can sink to the depths of childishness! And yet, my shoulder-rubbing, soft-voicing husband cajoled me out the door, assuring me that I’ll feel better once I get there.
And he was right. Being with our friends is the best…Susie and I did a lot more talking than paddling. And there’s something about the beauty of God’s handiwork that can soothe even the most savage soul. He reserved a sunset that was so beautiful, it counter-balanced all my savage. I’m glad I went.
Romans Chapter 11
Israel’s Rejection Not Total
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. 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? 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! But what was God’s answer to him? I have left seven thousand for myself who have not bowed down to Baal. In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, as it is written,
God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that cannot see
and ears that cannot hear,
to this day.
And David says,
Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a pitfall and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and their backs be bent continually.
Israel’s Rejection Not Final
I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now if their transgression brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness bring!
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Insofar as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if I might somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? Now if the firstfruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
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, do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast — you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” True enough; they were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith.
Do not be arrogant, but beware, because if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 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. And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree 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?
I don’t want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you will not be conceited: A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
The Deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.
Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the patriarchs, since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. As you once disobeyed God but now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches
and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments
and untraceable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?
And who has ever given to God,
that he should be repaid?
For from him and through him
and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Thanks for chapter 11, Paul! It’s just what we needed to understand chapter 10! It’s seems so much more clear today, doesn’t it? I love the illustration Paul uses about the grafting of the trees. The back and forth and explaining that one was needed so the other could happen. He actually gave purpose to the suffering of the Israelites. By their transgression, we Gentiles were saved.
If we learn nothing else from reading the Bible, it’s that our God is ever-present in our suffering and that He is faithful to His plan to draw all people to Him. He’s even working when we can’t see it. He’s so good, all the time.
Let’s pray. Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Thank You for Your word where we see it repeatedly. Help us, Lord, to remember that You are always at work in our lives, even though we can’t see You. We look forward to the day when we will be face to face with You. Til then, Father, help us to remember that there will be suffering in this world, but that doesn’t mean You’re not present or that You don’t care. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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