Chapter 9 of Romans deals with three misunderstandings of the Romans. Paul corrects each of these misunderstandings. Paul is concerned that his people, Israel, who had the promises of God completely, missed the meaning. He did not want them to miss their Messiah.
Paul addresses the common, erroneous misunderstandings and objections for why God has not fulfilled His program and purpose with Israel (9:6-29)
1st Anticipated misunderstanding (9:6-13)
What has happened to Israel? Has the word of God taken none effect?
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Though that might seem so – Paul shows that this is NOT the case at all. In fact, God’s word all along has been calling out those in Israel who will fulfill His plan and purpose.
To enhance your study, please read Genesis 21:12, 18:10, 14, 25:23, and Malachi 1:1-3.
2nd Anticipated misunderstanding (9:14-18)
Is God being unrighteous in what He has done with Israel?
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
No, not at all – as Paul shows. In spite of His program with Israel, God has the right to be merciful and gracious to whomsoever He will – including the Gentiles – and God even has the right to delay fulfilling His declared purpose with Israel in order to accomplish another purpose He has.
To enhance your study, please read Exodus 33:19 and 9:16.
Tomorrow we will look at the last of the misunderstandings.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001