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Romans 10:14-21

Israel (Present)

Paul has been saying that Israel did not operate by Faith, but by works. They did not know Christ - the Righteousness from God. But Israel (nation) is not written off - all they have to do is confess and believe in their heart. All they have to do is 'call on the Name of the Lord'.

[NOTE: Earlier Paul talked all about God's sovereignty and election. Now Paul is talking about choosing to believe. A fair question is: Which is it? The answer is: both. How that works - more Godly men than me will admit they do not know. If someone is a "believer", it is just a concept that we will struggle with in doctrine. If an unbeliever balks and gets hung up on the concept of election, they should be looked in the eye and told:

'Fine. What do you choose? - Will you believe in your heart Christ was raised from the dead, and confess with your mouth - "Jesus is Lord"? That is all it takes to be saved. The important thing is salvation, not arguing about "election". That can all be worked out later - and if not - it certainly will be understood in heaven.']
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So back to Romans 10 - How can the nation of Israel come to call on the name of the Lord? By the spreading of the gospel:

Word sent out ==>Word preached==>Word heard==>Word believed==>Call on the name of the Lord.

That is what was and is done, but not all Israelites accepted the Gospel. Paul says, and so it was foretold. Cites Is 53:1. Which to a Jew, when a teacher cites first line of a Chapter in Scripture they should look to whole Chapter - which here is describing the Messiah. A subtle message to the Jew to go back and review Scripture. Isaiah was prophesying that Israel would reject the Messiah - and they did.

Rom10:17 "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." NIV

It is interesting to do a word study on ear, ears, hearing and see how God seems to access one through the "ear". When "eye" is used for gaining information it is the eye that leads to stumbling/sin. (I wonder if it is because "eye" sounds like "I"???) Remember the Word was originally to be heard around the campfires in the Exodus. Parents were to recite it to children, and everyone was to meditate on going to sleep. It was not about reading the scrolls.

In Christianity: Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing. Faith comes from hearing the message.
The order of events is : Hear==>Believe==>Perceive
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So did they hear? Did they understand?

Moses prophesied in Deut 32 in the song of Moses, and Isaiah prophesied in Is 65:1 (another whole chapter for Israel to look at because of the first line being cited) when talking about Judgment and Salvation:

That non-Jews would hear and understand, but the Nation of Israel supposedly seeking God was a "disobedient and obstinate people". They heard, but out of stubbornness they did not understand - rather wanting to cling to their ways.

Romans 11:1-12

Israel (Future)

So did God Reject his people? Did God change His mind about his covenants and promises?

No, and I (Paul) am a prime example. I am a Jew, I am saved. Paul cites Elijah who thought he was the only faithful one left in Israel. God informs him - No, there are 7,000 others who have not bent their knee to Baal. There is always a remnant. There is a "remnant" in Israel now - the nation of Israel does not believe, but there are some. James leads a church in Jerusalem. Jews that have righteousness through faith in Christ. A remnant chosen by Grace. (Chosen being Gk. ekloge the act of picking out, chosen.)

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace."

"Paul left the previous verse noting that the remnant was chosen according to the election of grace. Now he reminds us what grace is, by definition: the free gift of God, not given with any eye to the performance or potential in the one receiving, but only given out of the kindness of the giver." - David Guzik
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The Nation of Israel does not believe, but some citizens do. The rest are hardened in their obstinance, just as Isaiah and David wrote.

[Note: There is some Christian teaching from certain ministries out there that: it is not Israel's fault that they do not believe. God has hardened their hearts. Eyes that could not see - ears that could not here. How does that explain the remnant in Paul's time or the Messianic Jews today?. I believe God hardened the nations heart, just like he hardened Pharaohs. That is - their hearts had already shown a predisposition to unbelief and stubbornness, and at some point God says - Ok - you want it that way - I will reinforce that feeling in you. Yet there are some in the nation that will believe.

It reminds me of the concept of an unbelieving Gentile. If one keeps rejecting the word of God. Keeps rejecting Christ - at some point there will be no more chances. They will be let loose to do it their way.]
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So Israel has stumbled over Jesus, did they fall beyond recovery? Can they be saved? Yes.

Because they stumbled, Salvation came to the Gentiles - as foretold in Old Testament. Salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. To make them want what we have.

[Note: Over the centuries have Christians done a good job of "making Israel want what we have"? Sometimes. But there is a distinctly historical issue of anti-Semitism amongst a good many Christians and Christian churches. I pray for that to occur less and less if not be eradicated. When we are told to love one another as Christ loved - it should be to all people.]

But if their stumbling causes riches (abundance) to the Gentiles and the World, then how much more abundance when God's people are brought into the sheep pen? Or how much more fruit when the Jewish nation is grafted back into the tree?

II Chronicles 19-20:37

Johoshaphat, I believe, is the first king, besides David, that accepts a rebuke form God, albeit by way of Hanani, a prophet. He doesn’t become angry or sullen but gets himself up, brushes himself off and continues to use God’s Law as a standard in how he rules the people but requires the judges he appoints to do the same.

It seems to me when a person follows “hard” after God the means and methods used to make decisions or carry out their responsibilities do not fit into normal methods of operations nor do they seem to fit into any standard of common sense by man’s point of view. If I had been one of those appointed singers to stand in front of the Army while the enemy advanced, I don’t know what I would have done. Would I have had enough faith not to second-guess God and the king? Would I be thinking and saying, “Feets don’t fail me now!” as I rushed off in the opposite direction away from the battle lines?

Or would the words of Jahaziel have pierced my heart and empowered me to do what in the natural didn’t make sense? I’m not sure but it is clear that God chose to fight this battle differently then what man would do.
Romans 10:14-11:12

18 But what about the Jews? Have they actually heard the message? Yes, they have:
"The message of God's creation has gone out to everyone,
and its words to all the world."
19 But did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God had said,
"I will rouse your jealousy by blessing other nations.
I will make you angry by blessing the foolish Gentiles

What has captured my attention is the last line of verse 19 (Tenth Chapter), I will make you (Israel) angry by blessing the foolish Gentiles. I am a Gentile and is my life lived in such a way, can the blessings of God be seen upon me in such a way that I make the Jews, the natural Israel, angry? If I honestly answer to that, I would have to say, no.

Psalm 21:1-13

I know that it is recorded by scholars that David wrote this Psalm about himself. However, I see in each and every one of the lines something pointing to Jesus. For example:

3 You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
You placed a crown of finest gold on his head

I see this as also speaking to Jesus’ triumph over the grave. To welcome someone back they must have already been there, went some place else and are now returning. Jesus was always with the Father since before the world began. There are riches with the Father that Jesus gave up when he took on the form of man and came to earth. After his triumph over death, He went back to sit at the Right Hand of the Father (Acts 2:33). Jesus being the King of kings, I think would have a crown made of the finest gold because by Him and through Him there was nothing made that did not have His creative touch and that he did not own.
Proverbs 20:4-6

4If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest.

I have always read this as if it is the person who doesn’t plow who will have no food, but it says the one who does not plow in the RIGHT SEASON. Have I plowed in the wrong season then wondered why there was not food. This Proverb implies one can be very busy plowing away, yet not produce any harvest because I plowed and sowed in the winter instead of the spring.

Mike,

You have reminded me of something in your comments on the Romans reading today so I have ran to Mr. Strong’s Concordance to do a little research. The words translated world, Go into all the world—etc in the King James Version really need to be looked at carefully—at least the Greek behind them because the English word world well, is just one word while there are seven Greek words translated into English as world/earth/land or country. (one is just a small variation.)

1) gē --(1093) Ghay - Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application): - country, earth (-ly), ground, land, world.
2) aiōn—(165) ahee-ohn' From the same as 104; properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; specifically (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future): - age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Compare G5550.
3) aiōnios—(166)--ahee-o'-nee-os 165; perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well): - eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).
4) Katachthonios --(2709)--kat-akh-thon'-ee-os From 2596 and χθών chthōn (the ground); subterranean, that is, infernal (belonging to the world of departed spirits): - under the earth.
5) kosmokratōr—(2888)--kos-mok-rat'-ore From 2889 and 2902; a world ruler, an epithet of Satan: - ruler.
6) Kosmos --(2889)--kos'-mos Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]): - adorning, world.
7) oikoumenē--(3625)--oy-kou-men'-ay Feminine participle present passive of 3611 (as noun, by implication of 1093); land, that is, the (terrene part of the) globe; specifically the Roman empire: - earth, world.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
(Matthew 13:22 KJVR)

The word world in the above passage is the Greed aion (#2), and age, a course of time. In the Great Commission, that Jesus sends us and all his disciples on is not the “world” I have usually equated or think about when I hear the word “world.” It’s fun to look up these things and may be a big eye opener. It also validates or confirms Mike’s comment.

2 Chronicles 20:
As I focus my energy, time, love, worship on yielding, praising, worshipping, and obeying the Lord – God will make it clear to me who are my true enemies.

I say this because – though in this passage when Israel is attacked by an obvious enemy (like United States being attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001) – often enemies are not so clear in our lives.

It can be easy for me to see people as enemies – husband, wife, child, mother, father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, boss, etc…

There can be disagreements –sometimes silly and sometimes serious...Sometimes only personality differences or sometimes really significant differences in understanding who God is.

I can see people as enemies IF I take my eyes off of the Lord. However, I can be established in the Lord.
I like 2 Chronicles 20:20 (NKJV) –
Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

If I establish myself in the Lord, then He will fight my battles for me ! The fear of the Lord comes on me – which for me is another way of saying the anointing of God comes on me – as I establish myself in the Lord.

One of the devotional notes I have at home suggested that the word for “established” is related to the word “Amen” The word “Amen” means “so be it” or “may it be established.”

The devotional also mentions that this is exactly what Abraham did when he “believed the Lord and was counted as righteous” (Genesis 15:6).

That is, he established himself in the Lord, and he was not moved by all circumstances that would keep him from unbelief. And his steadfastness of faith established him in faith to wait for 20 years for God’s promise to be fulfilled in his life !

When I establish myself in the Lord— all of life’s troubles— will fall into perspective and I will have God’s wisdom and His steadfastness to follow His wisdom.

Thus, the Lord will give me the wisdom to relate to people with wisdom – to draw out wisdom from within them instead of “preaching” to them.

PROVERBS 20

5
Though good advice lies deep within a person's heart, the wise will draw it out.
6
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is really faithful?

When I have to speak truth—even if it is hard truth—
I can do it with the wisdom and love of the Spirit to connect with what God is doing in them....
because I am established
in the fear and anointing
of the Lord !


You send us modern praise songs; and they are great; but I find comfort in the old hymns that I grew up with. I think the church has deserted a wonderful tool to reach people for Christ. Many have been saved by just listening to the words of these old hymns.

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

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