Saturday in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 11:25-36

And So All Israel Will Be Saved

Paul hastens to the end of this section.  The question throughout has been: What about the Jews, the people of the covenant, those for whom Christ especially came?  How are we to understand their rejection of the Messiah and the fulfillment of the prophecies that answers all their longings?  Paul has made it clear that God has not cast off His ancient people.  Oh, make no mistake: any Jew who dies without faith in Christ stands condemned on judgment day.  There is only one way to salvation and that is through Christ Jesus who is that way (John 14:6).  On that point we must stand firm.  So when Paul speaks of God’s not having cast aside the Jews, he speaks of them as a corporate body, as Israel.

But now Paul finally answers the question with which he began and must have received by revelation (though the prophets spoke of the same), and that answer is: There will be a great ingathering of the Jews in the last days, after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” which must be just before our Lord’s return.  In light of the entire letter, we must understand the fullness of the Gentiles to be those elect ones.  Similarly we must understand “all Israel” to be those elect of Israel as well; not every man, woman, and child.  For it is to the doctrine of election that Paul returns to explain what God is doing with Israel: Yes, they are enemies of the gospel while the Gentiles come in, but they are still beloved of God “as regards election.”  God ordained it so that Jew and Gentile would come into the kingdom at different times.  The Gentiles were once Godless pagans while Israel carried about themselves God’s law; then the Gentiles answered the gospel call while the Jews rejected it.  But the day is coming when the Jews will answer that call as well, after the Gentiles come in.  So the Gentiles who were once disobedient have now received mercy, and that, Paul adds, “because of [Israel’s] disobedience.”  But as they are now disobedient as we once were, they too shall receive the same mercy, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all.”  And that’s a good thing.

At this point, Paul just stops to worship God and stand in awe of His wisdom and knowledge: “How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways.”  God didn’t ask our opinion about these matters; he didn’t consult us, for “who has been His counselor?”  We have no right to question why God does things as He does, why His plan is so mysterious.  All we can do is marvel at the mystery.  I’m glad I can’t figure God out; I couldn’t worship Him if I could.  In the meantime, pray for the salvation of the Jews.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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