God’s mysterious riches, wisdom, and knowledge – Leawood – Church of the Resurrection

Daily ScriptureRomans 11:25-36

25 I dont want you to be unaware of this secret [or mystery], brothers and sisters. That way you wont think too highly of yourselves. A part of Israel has become resistant until the full number of the Gentiles comes in. 26 In this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

The deliverer will come from Zion.He will remove ungodly behavior from Jacob.27 This is my covenant with them,when I take away their sins [Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34]

28 According to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but according to Gods choice, they are loved for the sake of their ancestors. 29 Gods gifts and calling cant be taken back. 30 Once you were disobedient to God, but now you have mercy because they were disobedient. 31 In the same way, they have also been disobedient because of the mercy that you received, so now they can receive mercy too. 32 God has locked up all people in disobedience, in order to have mercy on all of them.

33 Gods riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep! They are as mysterious as his judgments, and they are as hard to track as his paths!

34 Who has known the Lords mind?Or who has been his mentor? [Isaiah 40:13]35 Or who has given him a giftand has been paid back by him? [Job 41:11]36 All things are from him and through him and for him.May the glory be to him forever. Amen.

NOTE: Today we recall the terrible events of 9/11/01, 20 years ago, which made us painfully aware that the bitter divisions in our world have horrible results. It is a good day to ponder Pauls summary of Gods vision of the world. God has locked up all people in disobedience, in order to have mercy on all of them, he wrote. Left to ourselves, we tend to see the world in us and them terms. But God sees one human family, offers mercy to every one of Gods earthly children, and yearns for us to accept that offer. Which is why Paul closed with a great hymn of praise: Gods riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep!....May the glory be to him forever. Amen.

Reading all of Romans 9 11 this week should help us see why it doesnt work to read a fragment of 11:26 as a stand-alone conclusion. N. T. Wright pointed out, The question: how is God saving his whole people, Jew and Gentile alike? How is all Israel going to be saved (verse 26)? Many people find this puzzling. Surely, they say, all Israel must mean all Jewseither all Jews who have ever lived, or all believing Jews, or all Jews alive at the time of final salvation. But Paul himself has indicated otherwise.* And William Barclay wrote: Paul argues that there is more to Jewishness than descent from Abraham, that the chosen people were not simply the entire sum of all the physical descendants of Abraham.** Verse 32 returned to what Paul wrote in Romans 3:23-24, now applied more fully to the tension between Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Creating, redeeming God, your riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep! Thank you for a mind that can wrestle with hard questions, and for a heart that can trust you to know answers I cannot yet fathom. Amen.

* Wright, N.T., Paul for Everyone, Romans Part Two: Chapters 9-16 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 59). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

** William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Letter to the Romans (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, p. 128.

*** Michael J. Gorman, study note on Romans 11:33-36 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 294 NT.

**** William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Letter to the Romans (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, p. 155.

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God's mysterious riches, wisdom, and knowledge - Leawood - Church of the Resurrection

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