- Putting to Rest the Accusation That Paul Was Biased (9:1-5)
- Grace: God Has Always Acted Sovereignly, Even Toward Israel (9:6-18)
- Mercy: God’s Sovereignty Does Not Make Him Unrighteous (9:14-18)
- The Futility of Man’s Will in Light of God’s Sovereignty (9:19-23)
- God’s Sovereign Purpose to Bless Gentiles in Prophecy (9:24-26)
- God’s Sovereign Purpose to Bless Israel, Through Only a Remnant (9:27-29)
- The Reason Israel Has Been Presently Set Aside & the Gentiles Brought In (9:30-33)
Putting to Rest the Accusation That Paul Was Biased (9:1-5)
Paul’s Genuine Love for Israel (vv.1-3)
Paul’s Agreement with the Jews Concerning Their Privileges (vv.4-5)
- Israelites – They bore the special name of “Israel” (not Hebrews). Israel means “a prince with God”, and the Israelites were those who had a place of privilege “with God and with men” (Gen. 32:28).
- The Adoption – This is adoption in a national sense (Ex. 4:22, Deut. 14; 7:6, Hos. 11:1). Adoption always has the sense of a favored status. Their adoption took place at the exodus.
- The Glory – The Shekinah glory cloud which is the visible presence of the Lord, and sign of God’s favor upon them (Exodus 13:21-22). This glory will one day fill the Millennial temple (Ezek. 43:4).
- The Covenants – The covenants made with Abraham, Moses, Phinehas, and David, etc. (Gen. 15:18-21; 17:7, etc.) The covenants have to do with Israel on the earth, even the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31).
- The Giving of the Law – The five books of Moses had been given to them, and not any other nation. (Exodus 20).
- The Service of God – This refers to the Levitical service of the tabernacle and the temple: God’s dwelling place and man’s approach unto Him.
- The Promises – Referring to the glorious prospect of being the head of all the nations under Christ in the Millennium (Isa. 30:23-26; 32:1-20; 35:1-10). Paul is saying that the promises are to Israel as a nation, but we find in Rom. 11 that they will be fulfilled in a remnant.
- The Fathers – A tremendous heritage of faith: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, etc.
- The Messiah – This was the Jews’ crowning privilege. The Messiah personally came from their nation (Isa 9:6-7). He came “according to flesh” because only His humanity was Jewish, but He was also Divine.
Grace: God Has Always Acted Sovereignly, Even Toward Israel (9:6-18)
- The Lord chose Isaac rather than Ishmael (vv.7-9)
- The Lord chose Jacob rather than Esau (vv.10-13)
- The Lord chose to have mercy on Israel after their idolatry (vv.15-16)
- The Lord chose to harden Pharaoh’s heart (v.17)
His argument is this: if God sovereignly called the Jews long ago, how can you say He is unrighteous to sovereignly call the Gentiles?
(1) The Lord Chose Isaac Rather Than Ishmael (vv.7-9)
7 nor because they are seed of Abraham are all children: but, “In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee.” [Gen. 21:12] v.7 If blessing came through descendence from the father, then the Ishmaelites (children of Abraham and Hagar) and the Midianites (children of Abraham and Keturah) would be part of God’s chosen people! In Genesis 21, when Sarah wanted to cast out Hagar and Ishmael, but Abraham didn’t want to, the Lord told him to listen to Sarah, because Isaac was the chosen son. The scripture is clear that the chosen people came through Isaac. The Jews of course agree.
(2) The Lord Chose Jacob Rather Than Esau (vv.10-13)
Mercy: God’s Sovereignty Does Not Make Him Unrighteous (9:14-18)
(3) The Lord Chose to Have Mercy on Israel After Their Idolatry (vv.15-16)
- Not of Him that wills. Blessing will never come by man’s will. Man doesn’t have a free will. The allusion may be to Isaac, whose desire was to bless the elder.
- Not of Him that runs. Blessing will never come through the motions of the flesh, because “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The allusion may be to Esau, who chased wild game to obtain the approval of his father.
(4) The Lord Chose to Harden Pharaoh’s Heart (vv.17-18)
The Futility of Man’s Will in Light of God’s Sovereignty (9:19-23)
vv.19-23 God is sovereign, which means He has the divine prerogative to orchestrate persons, places, things, events, etc. (“all things”) and work them together “according to the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11). No matter what man does, whether he submits to God’s sovereignty or if he rebels, God will get glory from man, even if it is by judgment. The most prevalent expression of man’s will against God is rebellion against His judgment. Accordingly, Paul takes up this question in v.19. The natural man rebels against a sovereign God by throwing the question of “good and evil” against the divine purpose. Charging God with evil is an attempt to accomplish two things:
- To rob God of His moral glory (in Him is light, and no darkness at all).
- To absolve man of his responsibility to his Creator.
Man Has No Business Replying Against a Creator God (vv.19-21)
God’s Sovereignty Will Always Redound to His Glory (vv.22-23)
God’s Sovereign Purpose to Bless Gentiles in Prophecy (9:24-26)
- Find and bless the Jew, be he ever so far from God (v.25)
- Find and bless the Gentile, be he ever so far from God (v.26)
God’s Sovereign Purpose to Bless Israel, Through Only a Remnant (9:27-29)
- God will deal in righteousness with Israel, and so the mass will be cut down in judgment;
- God will remember mercy, and His steadfast promises, and will preserve a remnant.