We begin this week with Romans 10:1-4
v1: Brethren: An inclusive term referring to all believers – male and female.
- My heart’s desire and prayer: Paul’s desire and diligent prayer was for Israel to be saved.
- Israel: Paul is speaking about the land of Israel as well as the people of Israel. Israel is still relevant to G-d. It still has a significant part to play in G-d’s plans.
- Saved: G-d is going to bring about Israel’s salvation. Yeshua, in Matthew 23:37-39, was weeping over Jerusalem, desiring to gather her up as a mother hen gathers up her chicks. But Israel, at Yeshua’s first coming, were, by and large, not willing to accept Him. Yeshua then prophesied and made a promise…Israel would not see Him again UNTIL they were willing to say: ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the L-rd’. This call is a petition, a reaching out to G-d in prayer, for Messiah. For this to become a reality, in order that people will pray this prayer, there must be a spiritual change amongst the Jewish people. When that change happens, that prayer will be prayed, and (like Yeshua promised) Yeshua can come again for His second coming – when He will destroy the enemies of G-d at that time – those who go up to war against Jerusalem. It is at that time that the Kingdom of G-d is going to be established. Paul prays for the salvation of Israel because he desires the Kingdom of G-d to be ushered in.
v2: They have a zeal for G-d: There are many religious zealots. Having religious zeal is not the answer.
- Not according to knowledge: There is a relationship between the revelation of G-d and knowledge. We can only have knowledge by means of the revelation of G-d – seeing things from G-d’s perspective and not from our own. Although these Jewish people had a zeal for G-d that did not have a true revelation of G-d.
v3: Ignorant: Literally: against knowing. It is not that they were ignorant or had a lack of knowledge. This word carries a degree of rebelliousness. They did not want to know the righteousness of G-d on G-d’s terms, but they wanted righteousness on their own terms. Righteousness comes through faith (Gen 15:6)
- Seeking to establish their own righteousness: A righteousness based on their own perspectives and ways of doing things. Righteousness, however, does not originate from man. Only G-d is righteous. It is only when the righteousness of the Son of G-d is given or imputed to us that we are righteous before G-d.
Note: There has always been a remnant of Israel who have accepted the gospel and who have responded to G-d’s revelation, but, by and large, the majority have rejected it.
- (They) have not submitted to the righteousness of G-d: The righteousness of G-d is first revealed in the law of G-d. The law of G-d is not an instrument of righteousness (no flesh is justified by works of the law), but the law defines what righteousness and unrighteousness are. The law shows us that we are sinners that fall short of the standards of G-d. So it is also through the law that we realise we need help, we need a Saviour.
v4: End: The word used here in the Greek means ‘the objective’ or the ‘goal’. Messiah did not come to scrap the law and make an end to it. The end goal of the law is righteousness. However, we cannot obtain righteousness by obeying the commandments. It is only through faith in Messiah that we are made righteous. It is Messiah who produces righteousness in us. He brought about an end to the judgement or condemnation of the law for those who believe in Him. Although the curse of the law has been removed for believers the blessings of the law still remain.