Israel and God’s faithfulness
1So I ask you, has God rejected his people? Absolutely not! I’m an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God hasn’t rejected his people, whom he knew in advance. Or don’t you know what the scripture says in the case of Elijah, when he pleads with God against Israel? 3Lord, they have killed your prophets, and they have torn down your altars. I’m the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.#1 Kgs 19:10, 14 4But what is God’s reply to him? I have kept for myself seven thousand people who haven’t bowed their knees to Baal.#1 Kgs 19:18 5So also in the present time there is a remaining group by the choice of God’s grace. 6But if it is by grace, it isn’t by what’s done anymore. If it were, God’s grace wouldn’t be grace.
7So what? Israel didn’t find what it was looking for. Those who were chosen found it, but the others were resistant. 8As it is written, God gave them a dull spirit, so that their eyes would not see and their ears not hear, right up until the present day.#Deut 29:4; Isa 29:10 9And David says,
Their table should become a pitfall and a trap,
a stumbling block and payback to them for what they have done.
10Their eyes should be darkened so they can’t see,
and their backs always bent.#Ps 69:22-23
11So I’m asking you: They haven’t stumbled so that they’ve fallen permanently, have they? Absolutely not! But salvation has come to the Gentiles by their failure, in order to make Israel jealous. 12But if their failure brings riches to the world, and their defeat brings riches to the Gentiles, how much more will come from the completion of their number! 13I’m speaking to you Gentiles. Considering that I’m an apostle to the Gentiles, I publicize my own ministry 14in the hope that somehow I might make my own people jealous and save some of them. 15If their rejection has brought about a close relationship between God and the world, how can their acceptance mean anything less than life from the dead?
16But if part of a batch of dough is offered to God as holy, the whole batch of dough is holy too. If a root is holy, the branches will be holy too. 17If some of the branches were broken off, and you were a wild olive branch, and you were grafted in among the other branches and shared the root that produces the rich oil of the olive tree, 18then don’t brag like you’re better than the other branches. If you do brag, be careful: it’s not you that sustains the root, but it’s the root that sustains you. 19You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20Fine. They were broken off because they weren’t faithful, but you stand only by your faithfulness.#Or faith So don’t think in a proud way; instead be afraid. 21If God didn’t spare the natural branches, he won’t spare you either. 22So look at God’s kindness and harshness. It’s harshness toward those who fell, but it’s God’s kindness for you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise, you could be cut off too. 23And even those who were cut off will be grafted back in if they don’t continue to be unfaithful, because God is able to graft them in again. 24If you were naturally part of a wild olive tree and you were cut off from it, and then, contrary to nature, you were grafted into the cultivated olive tree, won’t these natural branches stand an even better chance of being grafted back onto their own olive tree?
All Israel will be saved
25I don’t want you to be unaware of this secret,#Or mystery brothers and sisters. That way you won’t think too highly of yourselves. A part of Israel has become resistant until the full number of the Gentiles comes in. 26In this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
The deliverer will come from Zion.
He will remove ungodly behavior from Jacob.
27This is my covenant with them,
when I take away their sins.#Isa 59:20-21; 27:9; Jer 31:33-34
28According to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but according to God’s choice, they are loved for the sake of their ancestors. 29God’s gifts and calling can’t be taken back. 30Once you were disobedient to God, but now you have mercy because they were disobedient. 31In the same way, they have also been disobedient because of the mercy that you received, so now they can receive mercy too. 32God has locked up all people in disobedience, in order to have mercy on all of them.
33God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep! They are as mysterious as his judgments, and they are as hard to track as his paths!
34Who has known the Lord’s mind?
Or who has been his mentor?#Isa 40:13
35Or who has given him a gift
and has been paid back by him?#Job 41:11
36All things are from him and through him and for him.
May the glory be to him forever. Amen.