Friday, October 26
19 You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will? ” 20 But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this? ” 21 Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? 22 And what if God, wanting to display his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And what if he did this to make known the riches of his glory on objects of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory — 24 on us, the ones he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As it also says in Hosea,=
I will call Not My People, My People,
and she who is Unloved, Beloved.
26 And it will be in the place where they were told, you are not my people,
there they will be called sons of the living God.
27 But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel,
Though the number of Israelites
is like the sand of the sea,
only the remnant will be saved;
28 since the Lord will execute his sentence completely and decisively on the earth.
29 And just as Isaiah predicted:
If the Lord of Hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have been made like Gomorrah.
ISRAEL’S PRESENT STATE
30 What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness — namely the righteousness that comes from faith. 31 But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. 32 Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written,
Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over,
and the one who believes on him will not be put to shame.
Paul is addressing a major topic here. God’s sovereignty. Focusing specifically on verses 22-24, we see that God has every right to glorify Himself in whatever way He sees fit. This is a really important truth to recognize. God is God-centered and everything He does is for the purpose of bringing recognition and Glory to Himself. God has created everything that exists and each one of those things has a specific purpose. To put it bluntly, it’s not up to the creation to decide it’s purpose - it’s purpose was defined at the time it was made. This means that when God made us and saved us, He’s declaring our purpose is to clearly serve Him and give Him glory. So there’s a simple response to the thought process of, “If it’s all up to God then why should I even do anything?” That response is always, “because you belong to God and He’s made you to worship Him in every way.” And that means action.
The moment we begin to question why God would do something, we’re taking the full power and authority out of His hands and for a moment, believing that we know better than the Creator of the universe.
When we truly grasp God’s power and authority it should be overwhelming and deeply humbling. The amazing thing to see is that, as these verses say, God will have mercy on whomever He chooses. This further supports that mercy is not getting what we deserve, it’s being given the opposite of what we actually deserve. Thank God for His mercy, He could choose to withhold it but He’s given it anyways.
God, humble me. Forgive me for ever questioning your control, power, or authority. Help me live peacefully in my position as your created Child that you’ve chosen to give mercy and purpose to.
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.