Shalom everyone. Here is Romans 11 Part 1. We seemed to overlook this Bible study portion when posting the book of Romans Bible studies, so please pardon the delay. Thank you all for your patience. G-d bless!
We continue on with Romans 11:1-10
It is so important to realize that G-d is going to be faithful to Israel. As G-d shows His absolute faithfulness to His Old Covenant people, it will be an encouragement to us and give us assurance that He will keep His covenantal promises to us – His New Covenant people. In the same way that G-d extended mercy to the nations He is going to extend mercy to Israel.
v1: Has G-d cast away His people: It is not a possibility. G-d will not replace them (supersessionism or replacement theology is a false doctrine). G-d will not cast away His Old Covenant people. G-d is faithful to His covenants. There has always been a remnant of Jewish believers.
v2: G-d has not cast away His people: He has not replaced or removed them.
- Foreknew: G-d is omniscient. He perfectly knows all things. He has always known all things. There was never a time when He did not know everything. G-d, being sovereign, is free to use His foreknowledge to make decisions – acting or behaving in this world in a way to fulfil His purposes. The foreknowledge of G-d is foundational in the work of G-d, in the covenantal promises of G-d.
- Elijah: Paul references Elijah’s life. Very frequently, Paul uses Scripture to confirm or to give Biblical evidence for what he’s revealing. The context of 1 Kings 19 is that Elijah was grieved. He looked at the situation in Israel and he was pleading with G-d because it looked as if Israel was moving toward hopelessness. Israel was moving toward spiritual destruction.
v3: Note: Quoted from 1 Kings 19:10 and 1 Kings 19:14
- They have killed Your prophets: Those in Israel (particularly the leadership) were putting to death the true prophets of G-d. Their desire was to also kill Elijah.
- Torn down Your altars: The places of worship that G-d had established had been destroyed. Anything that was of G-d was being acted against by the people of G-d. Idolatry was dominating in the lives of the children of Israel in the days of Elijah. From Elijah’s perspective the situation was desperate.
v4: The Divine response (oracle): Referring to G-d and His Words – a heavenly response or perspective about the spiritually desperate situation in Israel.
- I have reserved…: Quoted from 1 Kings 19:18
- Reserved: Referring to the remnant. G-d reserved this remnant (a proportionally small number of people in comparison to all of those who lived in Israel at the time) in order that His purposes would be fulfilled through them. G-d knew that these men would be willing participants in His plan.
- Seven: The number seven, Biblically, is a number related to holiness. Holiness is always connected to the purpose of G-d.
- Men who have not bowed: These men were faithful to G-d and to His purposes.
- Baal: A pagan G-d
v5: This present time (season): Speaking about Paul’s time (but it also holds true for our time).
- There is: γέγονεν This word appears in some very key passages. It means ‘that which is, and that which will be.’ It is a state of being that has eternal implications. This choice that we make, which comes through grace, has eternal consequences.
- There is a remnant: From a human perspective, things may not look encouraging, but G-d’s got everything under control.
- Election (the choice) of grace: This means: There is a remnant, because they have chosen grace – it is by grace that we have been saved. Once we have been saved, we become a part of this remnant. This ‘election of grace’ is ONLY relevant for those who are in Messiah. Only those who are IN Messiah are predestined – predestined to be like Him.
v6: By grace: If we could obtain salvation by works then the Scripture would be incorrect when it tells us that we are saved by grace. If we could obtain salvation by works, then there would no longer be a need for grace. Since salvation is by grace it cannot be by works.
- No longer of works: This election, choice, did not come about because we worked hard enough or long enough.
v7: Israel has not obtained what it seeks: This was not due to a lack of knowledge. This revelation of the gospel (being saved by faith and not by works) had gone out to Israel through the prophets and even through Moses. Israel did not obtain what they sought because they rejected G-d’s plan. They said ‘No’ to the truth of G-d. There is a spiritual principle/law: when people say ‘No’ to G-d’s truth they become spiritually hard, dull and insensitive. The more they reject G-d’s revelation the harder and harder their hearts become and the more stubborn they are toward the things of G-d.
v8: It is written: Quoted from Deut 29:4 and Isaiah 29:10
- G-d has given to them a spirit of stupor (slumber): Israel encountered the truth of G-d. They saw the power and glory of G-d manifested in Egypt, but they rejected what G-d had done – murmuring and grumbling against G-d and His servants (Moses etc). As a result of their rejection of G-d, they became dull and insensitive (slumbering) toward Him.
v9: David says: Quoted from Ps 69:22-23
- Their table: Table of idolatry.
- Snare and a trap: Their idolatry is going to be a snare and a trap for them.
- Stumbling block: This word can also mean ‘offense’. What they are doing is offensive to G-d. They are offended by truth, and therefore they stumble over it.
- Recompense: This is a word that confirms the spiritual law spoken about above. When people say ‘No’ to G-d’s truth there is an outcome – they pay for this rejection by hardened hearts and eyes that are too dull to see and ears that are too deaf to hear.
v10: Bow down their backs always: An idiom meaning that they were humiliated. Those who reject the truth of G-d are going to suffer humiliation.