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Is God Finished with the Jews?

Romans 9:1-13

 

 

Romans assures us of our eternal security once justified / truly saved.  Look at the last two verses of ch. 8.

 

Now he goes into a three chapter dissertation about the Jews.  What?  It seems like it is out of place.  As a matter of fact, if you skipped these three chapters and continued in chapter 12 after the end of chapter 8, it would flow seamlessly.  It has been about justification, and in chapter 12 it will be about sanctification...look at it.

 

But remember that Paul is very aware that so many that he is talking to are Jewish believers, and he suspected that they would have an issue here.  You see, God made His promises to the Jews, but now it's like He's setting them aside and moving in a new direction...building His church, extending salvation to all Gentiles everywhere.  Can God be trusted?  Is He finished with the Jews?

 

Jesus came to His own and they received Him not.  So He moved along to others.  No doubt many Jews wondered, if God was not faithful to the Jews, how can we be assured He will be faithful to the church?  Can we trust Him?

 

Chapter 9:  Israel's past election.

Chapter 10:  Israel's present rejection.

Chapter 11:  Israel's future restoration.

 

Israel is the only nation in all the world w/ a complete history:  past, present, and future.  God keeps His promises!

 

In chapter 9, Paul defends the character of God, showing that Israel's past actually magnifies the attributes of God, proving Him trustworthy.

 

1.     God's faithfulness.  [next time, God's righteousness and graciousness.]

It's plain to see as we read that this subject is very close to Paul's heart.  He isn't just teaching now, intellectually.  He's pleading with passion.  Look at 10:1.

 

Now 9:1 - Three different ways here he says he's not lying...this is a sincere thing I'm about to share with you.

 

vv. 2-3     'anathema' = He means this.  He would go to hell if it meant saving his fellow countrymen.  Think about that.  Is there anyone you love that much?  I don't pretend to even approach near that kind of a burden.  Do we even weep over the lost anymore?

 

Some here have lost parents, children, siblings, spouse.  A close friend, a co-worker?  Paul has this burden for strangers, viewing them all as brethren.

 

Is God finished with the Jews?  Their past proves His faithfulness.

 

  • Past Privileges.  vv. 4-5

These 8 privileges belong to Israel.

Adoption=Israel is the only nation God has ever referred to as being His children.

Glory=remember the glory cloud that led them thru the wilderness?  It was a manifestation of the physical presence of God, hovering above them.  As long as they followed, they knew they were in the will of God.  Wow!  If only that could be our literal experience!

Covenants=agreements God made w/ Abraham, Moses, David, etc.  God has never made such contractual agreements w/ any other people.

Law=Mosaic Law=the Word of God, which was written thru the Jews!

Service of God=the worship in the tabernacle/temple, which showed in visual form the truths of God and redemption.  Every article/detail, points to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!

Promises=sprinkled throughout your OT are these promises made to Israel.

Fathers=patriarchs=Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and so on.

Christ=the Messiah, the Savior came thru them!

 

But with privilege comes responsibility!  In spite of all their privileges, Israel failed, crucifying their Messiah!  So, does that mean God will renege on His promises to them?  No!  God is faithful no matter what men do...great news for us tonite!

 

  • Past Promises.  vv. 6-9

Note the difference implied between Isaac and any other son of Abe [ie: Ishmael]

6a                The Word of God has not failed.  God's promises aren't dependent upon man's faithfulness, but God's faithfulness.

6b        There's 2 kinds of Israelites.  Physical descendants of Abraham and spiritual descendants of him.  You and I are the latter.  "Father Abraham, had many sons...I am one of them!"  Believing Jews fit both categories!

7-9       Ishmael and Isaac are implied here.  [enter the mid east conflict of the ages!]

Just as there is a distinction between those 2 sons, there's a spiritual distinction between believers and non-believers. 

 

Even though the Jews, for the most part, have rejected Jesus, God is still saving individual believing Jews, and they are true Jews, completed Jews.  Paul always refers to them as Israel...and God will keep His promises to them.

 

  • Past Purposes.  vv. 10-13

Jacob and Esau were twins, and before they were born, God had a predetermined purpose, as He does for all life in the womb!

v. 12    God made a sovereign choice here.  It had nothing to do with their character or their conduct, not having been born yet.  [see v. 11a]

 

Jacob was chosen.  Was he always obedient?  No!  This is wonderful, because since Jacob wasn't chosen for his obedience, the promises made to him could not be nullified by his disobedience!  And Paul's point is that the same is true for Israel.  They are still under the promise, even though they rejected Jesus.

 

v. 13    Startling!  But keep two things in mind:

1. This verse has nothing to do with eternity, but with privileges here on earth.

2. It is not talking about these two individuals, but the nations that will come of these two.  It's a quote from...

Malachi 1:2-3
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

This was said 2,000 years after the twins were born.

 

I could say, I hate Iran.  I don't mean I hate the people, but the platform of what they stand for...anti Israel, anti America, anti freedom.  I would witness to them as individuals and share hope in Jesus, or feed their children, or help change their tire!

 

Let's get practical:

We tonite are people of privilege.  We are blessed as Americans, as Christians, as members of FBC.  And there's still a high level of 'God-consciousness' in our city, compared to many in the USA.  This means our fields are white unto harvest!

 

Let's not take this for granted.  Let's make the most of our opportunities. 

 

366 promises in the Bible of God taking care of us.  One for each day, and even the extra we need in a leap year like this!

 

People will break their promises.  Not many keep their word anymore.  I'm thankful for the great faithfulness of our God!

 

ill.--a little boy lived way out in the sticks.  He had to walk to school.  It was his first day.  His parents were concerned, and told him to go straight there on the path.  He crossed a little bridge, and saw a fish in the stream.  He walked down the bank, distracted.  Then he saw a butterfly and chased it a while.  He meandered to and fro, before he realized he had no idea where the road was.  He panicked, and cried, and fell to his knees.  The only prayer he knew was the Lord's prayer, so he began, "Our Father..." and was then interrupted by a voice, "Yes, son."  It was his dad, who had followed him, making sure he made it.

 

Even when I stray and am unfaithful, my heavenly Father is always there, and always faithful to me!

 

2.     God's righteousness.

vv. 15-16         This is a quote from Exodus 33.  Remember when Moses went up the mount to receive the law from God?  What were the people doing down below?  Idolatry!  Blaspheming the very God who had just delivered them from Egypt.  If ever a people deserved to be blasted by God is was these folks.  But God made a sovereign choice not to destroy the whole of them.  He killed 3,000 of them that day.  Were those more wicked than the rest?  Were the others better than they?

 

Truth is, they ALL deserved to be destroyed.  And anything short of that is mercy.  So the question is not, why did they have to die?  They died because they deserved it.  The big question is why did the others get to live?

 

Seems unfair to our finite minds.

 

vv. 17-18         In Exodus 7-14 Moses stands before Pharaoh, seeking to gain the freedom of his people. 

 

It was God's sovereign purpose to raise up Israel and condemn Egypt.  God raised up Pharaoh to become the hardened leader he was, in order to reveal God's power and glory in overcoming him.  So, does that mean Pharaoh had no choice, no free will...just God's puppet?  Paul's goal here is not to reveal human responsibility, but God's divine sovereignty.  But go back and study that passage and you'll see both are in operation.  About 20 times Pharaoh's heart was hardened.  The first 10 times Pharaoh hardened it, and God the rest.  It teaches that God will eventually give you what you demand!

 

And God only sends to hell those who insist upon it, by rejecting His clear call and offer of salvation.

 

Seems unfair though, to us.  You're thinking the same thing the Jews were in our text!

 

v. 19        It's like we have no choice.  Who can resist what the sovereign God decides He's gonna do?  Paul answers w/ 3 questions and answers here:  Is God just?  Is God right?  Is God fair?

 

Buckle your seatbelts!  Some of you may not like this...

 

Is God just?  Paul's answer:  Who are we to question God?

vv. 20-21         In heartland English, God says, "It's none of your business why I do what I do."  His ways and thoughts are above ours.  Go start your own universe if you can!

 

The majesty of God's sovereignty is a mystery.  Faith leaves it there. 

 

"You cannot put one little star in motion;
You cannot shape one single forest leaf;
Nor fling a mountain up, nor sink an ocean;
Presumptuous pygmy, large with unbelief!
You cannot bring one dawn of regal splendor;
Nor bid the day to shadowy twilight fall;
Nor send the pale moon forth with radiance tender;
And dare you doubt the One Who’s done it all?"   A.W. Pink

 

God is God.  And the creation doesn't question the Creator.  And if we disagree...we won't be changing Him!

 

v. 21        God reaches into the lump of humanity, takes out some clay, and raises up a Moses...and a Pharaoh.  And it's God's business how He allows things to take shape from then on. 

 

vv. 22-24         God always has a purpose.  His purpose in Moses and Israel was to reveal His mercy.  His purpose in Pharaoh and Egypt was to reveal His might and His wrath!

 

And for the believer, His purpose is 2 fold:  Our good and His glory!  See Rom. 8:28.  It's a family secret!  This is why the lost world lives in despair...they don't have that assurance of good.  When THEY have tragedy, there's no meaning/purpose.  But we know better!

 

ill.--some boys played baseball in a large open field.  It wasn't theirs, but they called it theirs.  They played there one day and noticed the owner was walking around, studying it.  A few days later the bulldozers came and started tearing it up.  The boys were irate at what the owner was doing to their field, and they griped and grumbled at it all.  What they didn't know was that the owner was having several fields put in, first class, along w/ a playground.  It ended up a young person's paradise.  And what they thought was unfair and unrighteous was the owner acting in love, kindness, and goodness for their good!

        Most of the time when God plows our field, or allows the devil to, we don't know what He's up to...but we can and should trust Him!

 

vv. 25-29         God was simply fulfilling prophecy.  It was all prophesied long before.

 

vv. 30-33         The Jews motive had been to find fault.  And you can always find it if you look.  If you want to stumble, you will.  If you want to get up, you can!  If you want to believe on the Lord, there's plenty of reason to, and no good reason not to.

 

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