Wednesday, October 31
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.
2 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? 3 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! 4 But what was God’s answer to him? I have left seven thousand for myself who have not bowed down to Baal. 5 In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. 6 Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
7 What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,
God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that cannot see
and ears that cannot hear,
to this day.
9 And David says,
Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a pitfall and a retribution to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and their backs be bent continually.
ISRAEL’S REJECTION NOT FINAL
11 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. 12 Now if their transgression brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness bring!
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Insofar as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if I might somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 Now if the first fruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 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, 18 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. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 True enough; they were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but beware, 21 because if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 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. 23 And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. 24 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?
Here Paul communicates the importance of continuing in God’s goodness. Not continuing in the sense of salvation by works, but continuing in God’s grace and goodness through a continual relationship with Him. This should be a reminder that many of promises of God are to be fully experienced when we continue and endure in relationship with Him. Our salvation is not dependent upon our daily abiding in Christ, but the fullness of life and joy that is available to us is certainly connected to our daily pursuit of Christ.
Do what Paul challenges the church in Rome to do, consider God’s severity and His kindness. Consider God’s severity and wrath towards those who are apart from Him. The sense of despair and hopelessness that exists to those in that position should lead us to celebrate God’s deep kindness towards you and I. Remain in His kindness, let it lead you to constant repentance and dependence on Him.
Father forgive me for the ways that I move in any direction that isn’t towards you. Forgive me for the ways that I do not abide in You. Give me a genuine desire to live fully connected to your Spirit.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.