We go on to Romans 9:6-9
v6: Taken no effect: Many Bibles translate this word as ‘failed’ or ‘rendered null and void’, but it literally means ‘to fall from’.
- It is not that the Word of G-d has (fallen): We are not to think in this way. Paul was grieved because the majority of the Jewish people had not believed in the gospel like he had. Only a small remnant of Jewish people had believed.
- Israel: The term ‘Israel’ is a Kingdom term. When ‘Israel’ is mentioned in the Bible it has Kingdom ramifications, through which we can learn Kingdom principles. The word Israel is used twice in this sentence. In this passage we see two different Biblical definitions for the word ‘Israel’. In the first usage of the term ‘Israel’ in this verse Paul is referring to the Jewish people – the physical/natural descendants of Jacob (‘Israel’ can refer to the Jewish people or to the land of Israel). Paul is saying that not all of these natural descendants should be considered ‘Israel’ – ie: a Kingdom person (the second definition of the word ‘Israel’). This means that not every Jewish person is going to find themselves in the Kingdom of G-d. Those Jewish people who have not taken hold of the promises of Abraham, the faith of Abraham, are not considered the seed of Abraham. They do not share in the covenantal promises that G-d gave to Abraham.
v7: In Isaac your seed shall be called: Quoted from Gen 21:12
- Isaac: Isaac was the child of promise. Isaac was supernaturally established by G-d (G-d did the work miraculously). Not all of Abraham’s children were included in the promise – Ishmael was not the child of promise. It was only faith in the promise that would allow Ishmael and anyone else to be part of it. Just being a physical descendant of Abraham does not make one a seed of Abraham, a Kingdom people.
v8: The children of the promise: G-d promised Abraham, whose body was as good as dead, that he would have a son and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars (Gen 15). Abraham believed G-d. All those who believe G-d, and believe in the promises of G-d, are counted as the seed of Abraham – spiritual children, Kingdom children.
- Counted as: Accounted for. Reckoned
v9: The word of promise: G-d made a Kingdom promise to Abraham and to Abraham’s seed. Being part of Abraham’s physical seed will not get us into the Kingdom of G-d. G-d’s promise did not have anything to do with the natural, but the promise of G-d had to do with the supernatural.
- At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son: Quoted from Gen 18:10 and Gen 18:14.
- At this time: According to the season. At the right time – G-d’s timing.
- I will come: G-d was going to move to fulfil His promise – to bring victory in the place of death.
- Sarah: When a woman is mentioned in Scripture (this was also to be Abraham’s son, but Sarah receives the mention) the context of the passage becomes one of redemption. G-d promised a son. This promise is, ultimately, about G-d working in this world to bring about redemption – to extend His mercy, grace and forgiveness so that we can receive His wonderful promise, and that promise is ultimately of a Kingdom reality. Sarah was old, barren and her womb was lifeless – dead (Roms 4:19). G-d did what no one else could do – He brought life to Sarah’s dead womb. Bringing life from death is a reference to resurrection. Resurrection is a word of victory, and it is a word that is related to the Kingdom (it has Kingdom implications).
- A son: Isaac was born supernaturally in order to fulfil the Word of G-d, the plans of G-d. Yeshua, too, was born supernaturally, according to the promise (made by the G-d who doesn’t lie), to fulfil the will of G-d. When we believe this, and respond to the truth of G-d, we too will receive the promise. G-d desires to bless humanity. This is His nature or character. The promises He offers to us are available to all people. However, only those who respond to His promises, believe in them (by faith) and wisely apply them to their lives are going to receive them/benefit from them.