God’s Profound Wisdom
Today, Lord, make it my joy and desire to rest in You, to work for You, and to become like You.
Read Romans 11:25-36
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psa. 145:9). Consider and marvel at the wonderful character of the good God we serve.
Paul sums up this “mystery” which, for him, characteristically means something unexpected that God has now revealed. God has, amazingly, taken up even Israel’s long-standing rebellion into his purposes. He has used their judicial hardening both to save Gentiles and, by way of that provocation, to save the remnant of Israel. It was, after all, always and only the faithful remnant that would be saved (Isa. 1:9; 10:22; c.f. 65:8-15). In this way, “all Israel”—Jews and Gentiles who in repentant faith accept God’s mercy in Christ—will be saved. God’s deliverer, Jesus, will indeed turn Jacob from ungodliness. For although an enemy of the Gospel—which enmity resulted in Gentile blessing—Israel is still beloved because God’s elective and merciful promise to their fathers still stands.
Paul now returns to where he began: God’s mercy. Israel’s disobedience led to disobedient Gentiles receiving mercy and that, in turn, leads to disobedient Israel receiving mercy. Because Jew and Gentile, without distinction, have been imprisoned through disobedience, so Jew and Gentile can be shown mercy without distinction. Paul exults in the great and unsearchable wisdom of the one true God who can use even the disobedience of the rebellious as a means of mercy to inspire repentance.
It should be clear why these chapters appear where they do. Following Romans 8, they explain how nothing can separate even rebellious Israel from the love of God. And Romans 12-14 draw on them to show how Christians, living as the one people of God, should reflect this one great reality. None is better, none is more deserving. Our lives henceforth must be marked by this one eternal reality: we all, without distinction, stand only by God’s gracious mercy.
Ponder the reality of the final sentence and let it sink in. Ask God that every aspect of your dealings with others may be marked by his mercy.
Gracious Lord, I know I live only by Your mercy and grace. May my life show that clearly to others each day.
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