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Romans 11





Romans chapter 11 begins with Paul asking and answering an important question. “Did God reject His people, the Israelites?” Paul’s response to this, “Certainly not!”

Paul then proves this by telling us that he is an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. He reminds us of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. Even though Elijah felt like he was the only one left serving the Lord, God still had seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal. In other words, God still had seven thousand who had not rejected Him and decided to follow false gods.

In verse 7, Paul asks, “What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain? The elect among them did, but the others were hardened. God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” We can ask, why God would do such a thing? Why would He give them a spirit of stupor? Eyes that could not see? Ears that could not hear?

In Romans 1:21-24a, Paul writes, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore, God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts.” This sounds like a spirit of stupor to me.

To get a better understanding of what Paul is talking about, I want to look back to the covenant God made with His chosen people. There are a lot of “ifs” in the Bible. God lets us know that He is here for us. He will never leave us or forsake us, as stated in Deuteronomy 31:6. He will bless us and take care of us. But it gets back to our choice. He will do all of this ”if” we will follow and obey Him. Is this because God is being petty? Not at all. It’s just that His way is perfect and only in following Him are we placing ourselves in a position to be able to receive all these blessings that He has promised. We cannot do our own thing and still expect to receive the blessings promised to us.

Deuteronomy 29, tells us about God once again setting up His covenant with the Israelites after bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is the same covenant He had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are told how God has shown them many signs and wonders so that they would believe in Him. But even with all that He has done for them, we are warned in verse 19 that there will still be people who will say, “I will be safe, even though I follow my own way”. Doesn’t that sound familiar to today’s culture?

Paul goes on to tell us in Romans 11:11 that the Israelites have not stumbled so far as to fall beyond recovery, but because of their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Hey, that’s us! God’s plan is that through the salvation of the Gentiles, it will draw those Israelites back to Him. The wording is, “make them jealous”. This is the same type of jealousy as referred to when Exodus 34:14 speaks of God being a jealous God. God is not jealous or envious because we have something He wants or needs. God’s desire is to be with us so much that He is jealous, or desirous, of that relationship.

Think back to the beginning of Genesis before sin entered the world. God would come to the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day to walk with Adam & Eve. He wants that same type of relationship with us today as well. The relationship we were created to have with Him.

God’s covenant was made with the Israelites, but He is also extending that covenant to those who are not Israelites, the Gentiles. The Gentiles are the wild branches that are being grafted into the Olive Tree when they believe in Jesus as their Savior. But God is ready and willing to graft back in the branches who were removed because of unbelief, back into His family. Just as He would remove any grafted in branches if they chose not to believe. So paraphrasing Paul in verse 20, don’t get big headed about it. There’s a lot of talk of removing, grafting in, removing and re-grafting. It’s telling us that we are not part of the family of God just because we were born a descendent, or seed, of Abraham, but because we believe in Him. Abraham believed and it was counted to him as righteousness, right standing with God. Some verses that talk about this are, Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:1-22, Galatians 3:6-9, Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19.

Jesus told the religious leaders in Matthew 3:9, that God can raise up descendants of Abraham out of the stones. God’s family is not made up of physical children, but of spiritual children. Those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and chosen to follow Him. If we will love God, if we will believe God, if we will follow God, then we will be a part of this family.

Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. This means all, no matter who we descend from. Because of the separation from God due to sin entering the world, we are in need of God’s great mercy and grace. But praise God, He has provided this for all of us. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

As we wind up today’s Dwell devotion, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by God’s great love for all of us! Of His desire to have relationship with us! And for His forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ! He is the ultimate example of AWESOME! A famous quote in Joshua 24:2 is, “Choose you this day whom you will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

So, like Paul, let me end by asking a question. Who are you going to choose to serve today?

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Jun 28, 2023

Thank you for another outstanding dwell message. It is by far the best way to start each day. I appreciate all the time and effort that goes into each message. May all of you be greatly blessed for your devotion to Gods word and helping us gain a better understanding of the scriptures.

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