Through the Bible in One Year

Day 271

Romans 10:16-21

We have now reached the end of Paul’s discussion of Israel’s rejection of God.  And what we see Paul saying is that Israel has indeed heard the Gospel, but they have hardened their heart against God.  And that is why they have rejected God and because they have rejected God, God has in turn rejected them.

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.”

Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,

“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;

I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

And Isaiah boldly says,

“I was found by those who did not seek me;

I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

But concerning Israel he says,

“All day long I have held out my hands

to a disobedient and obstinate people.”—10:16-21

Paul comes back to the main theme of Romans 9-11 and the problem introduced in Romans 9:1-3.  He laments Israel’s lack of response to the Gospel, though as the quotation from Isaiah 53:1 makes clear, this is nothing new (Romans 10:16).  The Israelites had the opportunity to hear the Good News.  Indeed, the Gospel has gone out as widely as the message of the heavens (whose speech is referred to in Psalm 19:4).  A reference to Psalm 19 implies that others have heard as well as the Israelites, and this perhaps leads to Paul citing a passage in which God says, that he will provoke Israel by an ignorant nation (Romans 10:19).  This theme of provocation is very important in Romans 11.  The first Isaiah quotation in Romans 10:20 (from Isaiah 65:1) is like the quote of Hosea 2:231 in Romans 9:252, where Hosea puts Israel in the position of the Gentiles; not God’s people.  Isaiah similarly says that Israel’s election was purely based on God’s initiative and revelation.  While they were effectively a Gentile nation when God first addressed them, they responded to him, but now, and over the course of history, they have been rebellious (Romans 10:213).

Now that we have a general sense of what Paul is trying to say to close out chapter 10, let’s take a more in depth look at Paul is trying to say to close out chapter 10.  And first we are going to take a closer look at verses 16-17.

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.—10:16-17

From Isaiah’s time down to Paul’s, the normal response to the Word of the Lord was rejection.  And that means the faithful will always be in the minority.  And next we are going to look at verse 18.

But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.”—10:18

The word of God has gone out to every individual, whether or nor he or she knows Jesus’ name or not.  General revelation is the idea that in the beauty and majesty of nature, people are confronted with the reality and power of God.  The problem, as Paul brought up in the first chapter of Romans, is that they reject and suppress this knowledge of God.  Thus, special revelation4 is necessary for people to be reconciled to him.  Next we will look at verses 19-20.

Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,

“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;

I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

And Isaiah boldly says,

“I was found by those who did not seek me;

I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”—10:19-20

By extending grace to the Gentiles, who were not looking for or asking for him (Romans 10:20), God’s goal was to make Israel jealous of those who are not a nation (Romans 10:19).  And lastly we are going to look at verse 21.

But concerning Israel he says,

“All day long I have held out my hands

to a disobedient and obstinate people.”—10:21

Nobody is more heartbroken by your disobedience than God.  And nobody but God will show you more patience.  If you are living in defiance on some issue, return to him.  And that is where we will pick tomorrow as we move in chapter 11.

Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:

Isaiah 57:15-Isaiah 59:21, Philippians 1:1-26, Psalm 71:1-24 and Proverbs 24:9-10

Notes:

  1. “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people;’ and they will say, ‘You are my God.'”-Hosea 2:23
  2. “As he says in Hosea: ‘I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one'” -Romans 9:25
  3. Quoting Isaiah 65:2
  4. Special revelation is a theological term that refers to the belief that knowledge of God and of spiritual matters can be discovered through supernatural means, such as miracles or the Scriptures-a disclosure of God’s truth through means other than through reason.
One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply