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"God's Plan - Through Israel and For Israel "
Wednesday Evening Home Bible Study
September 8, 2004
Paul has spoken about God's plan of salvation as it has been extended
to the Gentiles. But what about God's promises to Israel? In this section,
Paul shows that God's plan not only does not exclude Israel, but even
fulfills His promises to them in a way that extends far beyond anything
that anyone imagined.
I. THE MESSAGE WAS HEARD BY ISRAEL, BUT REJECTED (10:14-21).
A. They couldn't say they didn't get the message (vv. 14-16;
see Joel 2:32).
B. They couldn't say they didn't hear the message (vv. 17-18; see
C. They couldn't say they didn't understand the message (vv. 19-21;
see Deut. 32:21; Isa. 65:1-2).
D. The real problem was that they were resistant; and did not believe
it or obey it.
II. BUT GOD STILL HAS A PLAN THROUGH ISRAEL'S REJECTION (11:1-15).
A. He has kept a remnant (vv. 1-5).
1. This is shown in Paul (v. 1).
2. This is shown in the Old Testament through Elijah (vv. 2-4;
see 1 Kings 19:10-14).
3. This is shown in that a remnant is still present (v. 5).
B. He has chosen the same and hardened the rest (vv. 6-10; Isa.
29:10; Psalm 69:22-23).
C. He has allowed them to stumble in order to accomplish grace (vv.
1. This extends grace to the Gentiles (vv. 11-12).
2. This also moves Israel to jealousy (vv. 13-15).
III. THAT PLAN INCLUDES NOT ONLY THE SALVATION OF THE GENTILES,
BUT ALSO OF ISRAEL (11:16-27).
A. We should, therefore, respect the promises to Israel (vv.
B. We should also show reverence to the God of Israel (vv. 19-23).
C. We should be amazed at God's wonderful plan (see also Isa. 59:20).
1. It shows that God is efficient (vv. 24-27).
2. It shows that God is faithful (vv. 28-29).
3. It shows that God is merciful (vv. 30-32).
4. It shows that God is wise (vv. 33-36).
* * * * * * * * * *
A few centuries ago, a learned and respected Rabbi had become sick
and was growing close to death. As he lay on his deathbed, he called
his Jewish friends and students together to give his final words of
encouragement and instruction to them. What he instructed them to do
was to think very carefully about the many times in the past that their
people had been taken captive and attacked. He encouraged them to think
about the fact that, at that time, they were without a national homeland;
and that they had been a wandering people for 16 centuries. Apparently,
this Rabbi had pondered the matter in his mind for some time; and now
on his deathbed, he spoke his mind. What's truly remarkable was the
reason this aging Rabbi gave for the wandering of the Jews. He said
that there was no doubt that their wandering was because of their unbelief.
We have looked for the Messiah, and the Christians have
believed in one Jesus, of our nation, who was the seed of Abraham and
David, and born in Bethlehem, and for [all] we know, may be the true
Messiah; and we may have suffered this long captivity because we have
rejected him. Therefore my advice is, as my last words, that if the
Messiah, which we expect, [does] not come at or about the year 1650,
reckoning from the birth of their Christ, then you may know and believe
that this Jesus is the Christ, and you shall have no other (Elon Foster,
6000 Classic Sermon Illustrations [Grand Rapids: Baker Books, rep. 1993],