The Book of Romans Bible Study Chapter 11 Part 2

Our last reading this week is Romans 11:11-15

Do we have the right prophetic expectations concerning Israel – both the land of Israel as well as the Jewish people? When we look at prophecy, we can be assured that G-d is going to move mightily in the last days and He is going to bring a remnant (specifically one third of the Jewish people – Zech 13:8-9, Mal 3:3) to faith. This means that they will receive the gospel. Without a remnant of Israel, G-d’s Kingdom on earth is not going to be established (Matt 23:37-39). 

v11: Stumbled that they should fall: Paul is asking this question: has Israel stumbled to such a degree that they have fallen away from G-d’s purposes and are no longer His covenant people? Has G-d cast them off forever and replaced them with other nations or peoples?

  • Certainly not!: May it never be! G-d forbid! The answer to Paul’s question is that this is not a possibility. Although the Jewish people, on the whole, have stumbled it does not mean that they have fallen away from G-d’s purposes for them. Part of G-d’s purpose for Israel is that they would be a blessing to the nations/families of the world (Gen 12:3). G-d’s purpose for Israel WILL be fulfilled through Israel. There is no question about this. The nations of the earth will be blessed through Israel. However, whether this blessing to the world comes through Israel’s obedience or Israel’s disobedience is Israel’s choice. If it comes through Israel’s obedience, then not only would the nations be blessed, but Israel would also be blessed. If it comes through Israel’s disobedience then the nations will still be blessed, but Israel will reap the consequences of her disobedience – like Pharoah did for his. G-d did not cast Pharoah aside. He continued to use Pharoah for His purpose. G-d’s greatness was seen in the life of Pharoah – through Pharoah’s destruction. 
  • Through their fall… salvation has come to the Gentiles: Israel’s disobedience and rejection of the gospel, this message of salvation, has led to the gospel going forth into many of the nations in the world where many people have received it. 
  • Provoke them: G-d wants to use this blessing of salvation, that has come to the nations, as a means to provoke Israel to jealousy. He wants them to desire the same relationship with G-d that the nations are enjoying. He wants them to desire to have His glory manifested through them in the same way that His glory is manifest in the lives of believers. 

v12: Their fall (transgression) is riches for the world: Israel’s rejection of the gospel message (the truth about what Messiah has done) has enriched the world. Israel’s rejection, their stumble, did not thwart G-d’s plan. It did not bring an end to the purposes of G-d. G-d was able to continue with His purposes, but Israel has not been blessed. Israel, in her disobedience has suffered greatly.

  • Their failure: Their loss. 
  • How much more their fullness: Paul anticipates or expects that the Jewish nation will one day accept the gospel message and be brought into the fullness of G-d through it. Prophetically we know that there is going to be a time when Israel, albeit through great suffering, is going to be made right with G-d. 

v13: I magnify my ministry: Paul knows that Israel has been called to be a blessing to the nations. Paul is rejoicing that G-d has called him to be a part of fulfilling that call by sending him as an apostle to the nations (Acts 9:15). 

v14: I may provoke… my flesh: Paul wanted to minister to the nations so that he could be used as an instrument to provoke his own people (the Jewish people) to jealousy. 

  • My flesh: Here Paul is talking about his kindred, his relatives.
  • Save some (a portion) of them: Paul’s desire was to be used by G-d so that through Paul a portion of the Jewish people might also know salvation. Although Paul had been called as an apostle to the nations, he had a soft spot in his heart for the Jewish people. 

v15: Their being cast away: This is momentary. It is a temporary setting aside. When the children of Israel (the Jewish people) were not faithful to G-d, He sent them into exile – He cast them away from Himself BUT for a limited period of time. 

  • Their acceptance: Their restoration.
  • Life from the dead: Resurrection. Resurrection alludes to victory and is related to the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d. When the remnant of Israel comes to faith, we should expect the Kingdom of G-d to be established on earth. 

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