Romans 11:24-32

In Romans 11:24-32, Paul completes his explanation on the subject of what God is doing with the nation Israel. The Jewish people have rejected their Messiah, but does this mean that God is finished with them? Does God still have a purpose and a plan yet to fulfill through them? Yes, He does! It is obvious from the Scriptures we have studied in our previous studies that you saw God’s future plan is to restore Israel again to a position of blessing. We looked at the image of Israel as an olive tree in Jeremiah 11:16 and Hosea 14:6. These two passages make it very clear that Israel is to bear fruit again for God. But this is not the only metaphor used for the nation Israel. The nation is also revealed as a vine and a fig tree (Is. 5:1-7; Hosea 9:10; Joel 1:7; Luke 13:6-9). God used these three images throughout the Old Testament to make it clear that His people and this nation have been chosen for a special purpose in this world. God wanted His people to bring forth the fruit of the knowledge of God to the world by bringing the Messiah to bless all peoples of the earth. 

The Point!  Vs. 24

Verse 24, is actually Paul’s concluding point of the previous verses. He wanted to make it absolutely clear what he was saying. Therefore, Paul summarizes, “For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?” What is the point he was making? If we as Gentiles, the wild branches, were grafted into the cultivated olive tree, it is obvious that God can again graft the Jews back into their natural tree. When people tell you that God has no plan for the nation Israel, they are mistaken having forgotten these promises; nor do they see the power and ability of God to keep this promise to graft them in again to the natural olive tree.

Many times, I hear people who believe in replacement theology tell me that God is finished with the Jewish people, and that the church has replaced Israel. But this is absolutely not true! If you believe in replacement theology, would you please consider these verses of Scripture? I ask you to study them and see the promises that God has made to His people. Notice God’s promise is to regather His people and bless them again. These are passages that can only refer to one time in history. This time will be when the Lord returns to this earth. In Zephaniah 3:10-20, From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering. In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds in which you transgress against Me; for then I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain. I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.’ I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,’ Says the LORD.” Notice the specifics of this prophecy. God is going to bring His people back into their land and at that time He will deal with all of the nations that have afflicted them. Could this refer to when God brought them back after the Babylonian captivity? No! Because it says that the people will do no unrighteousness, and speak no lies, no one will make them afraid, and they shall dwell in peace. This prophecy can only refer to the Millennial reign of Christ, because this is when the Prince of Peace will bring peace to this earth. Note that God says, “The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more.” This is the future plan of God as revealed also in the New Testament in Revelation 20.

Another passage to consider is Micah 4:6-7, “‘In that day,’ says the LORD, ‘I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast and those whom I have afflicted; I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; so the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever.’” Again, this prophecy can only refer to one time in history, when the Lord will reign in Mount Zion. God will assemble the lame and the outcast of His afflicted people, and He will reign over them forever. This is a promise of God that is yet to be fulfilled! 

In Jeremiah 32:36-42, God says again, Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.’” Clearly this prophecy can only refer to one time in history, when the people will fear the Lord with one heart, when God makes an everlasting covenant with them, and when they will not turn away from Him ever again. If a person misses these promises then they misinterpret God’s ultimate plan for the Jews. He is going to bring His people back into their land and bless them again. There are many such passages that I could quote here, but these should be sufficient. As you read through the Old Testament these promises of God’s faithfulness to His ultimate plan will be revealed to you. 

The entire point of what Paul is trying to communicate to the Romans is that the Jewish believers should be assured of God’s faithfulness to His people and faithfulness to His Word. God fulfills His promises, and He will fulfill these promises to His people, which is also a revelation of His mercy and grace to them. He will also fulfill His promises to you and to me. He will not speak a promise, and then not fulfill it. When God referred to His judgment and His blessings upon His people He said, Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it” (Eze 36:36). Remember, when God speaks, He will do it just as He has said. In reality, these promises should also assure you that He will fulfill His promises to you too! Believe it!

What is the mystery?  Vs. 25-27

In verse 25, Paul makes a very important statement of which he doesn’t want the Romans to be ignorant, which he calls “this mystery.” What is this mystery? Note that Paul answers this question by quoting two promises made to the nation Israel. For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’” (Rom. 11:25-27).

The mystery is simply that blindness has happened to Israel, and this blindness is only temporary. It will only continue until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, or until God’s plan has been fulfilled through the Gentile nations. Then God will again begin to deal with the nation of Israel and fulfill what is called the “70th week of Daniel.” We have studied this prophecy in a previous study (Dan. 9:27). This prophecy in Daniel reveals that God is not finished with the Jewish people. Today we can see how this is plausible, since Israel is a sovereign nation again. But, prior to the declaration of statehood in 1948, you can understand why this truth was such a mystery to believers in the past.

Then Paul turns again to God’s promises in the Old Testament to prove his point. The first promise of Jewish restoration comes from Isaiah 59:20, where God promises that Israel will one day be delivered when their Redeemer will come. This Deliverer is none other than the Messiah Himself, who will turn the nation back to godliness and righteousness. The second promise is quoted from Isaiah 27:9, which is another wonderful passage where God promises to restore His people again. These promises are still to be fulfilled in the future. However, never forget that if God promised it, then He will do it. If He does not keep His promises, that would make Him a liar, but God is not a liar (Num. 23:19)!

This mystery was the same question that the disciples asked Jesus about just before His ascension into heaven. They asked, “‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’” (Acts 1:6-8). Now remember, a mystery is something that is not obvious or something that is not easily understood. When Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, and He was telling His disciples He was going to the Father, they were bewildered. He died and rose again, so why was He going away? Why wasn’t He going to set up His kingdom now? They knew the promises of the Old Testament, but they just didn’t understand how it all fit together. But, notice what He tells them. He says, you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit, so you can win Gentiles to faith. The Gentiles is who He is referring to when He tells them that they will preach to the end of the earth. Why does He tell them this? So, the Gentiles may be saved and the fullness of His plan may occur [the fullness of the Gentiles], and only then will He set up His kingdom here on the earth. If you want to hasten the coming of the Lord’s return and His restoration of the nation Israel, be filled with the Holy Spirit and preach the Gospel to every creature (2 Peter 3:11-12). That is what He is saying.

Now, don’t miss this point! The disciples asked this question about the restoration of the nation Israel because they obviously knew that God had promised that the kingdom would be restored. They just didn’t understand how or when it would occur. So then, how can it be that those who believe in Replacement Theology can’t see that God still has a plan for His people? The answer is that these individuals are ignorant of this mystery that Paul is addressing here in Romans, and have not understood the prophecies we have covered in this study. 

The last point I want you to see is how Jesus explained part of this mystery to His disciples in Luke 21:24. As Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Jewish nation He said, And they [referring to the Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Note that Jesus predicts in this prophecy that the immediate future of Israel will be very dark. He tells them that the nation will fall by the edge of the sword and that the Jews will become captives again, but this time they will be scattered into all nations, not just Babylon as in their past history. This is exactly what happened when the Roman armies came and destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in 70 AD. They were scattered into all the nations. Then the Gentiles controlled the city of Jerusalem for the next 1900 years. But, notice the light at the end of the tunnel for the Jews. Jesus predicted that the times of the Gentiles would one day be fulfilled. Jesus is referring here to this mystery we are discussing in Romans eleven. The most important word in this passage in Luke is until. Remember, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. What happens after that? God begins His work again with the Jewish people in what the Bible refers to as the Tribulation Period, or the 70th week of Daniel which is the last seven years of earth’s history before the Second Coming of Christ.

Now, let’s look more in-depth at this prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. This prophecy is one of the greatest prophecies that I know of in all of Scripture. It’s a prophecy that every single one of you should be very well versed in, so that you might be able to explain it to others. Why is this so important? Because when people say to you, “How do you know the Bible is really the Word of God?” This prophecy, and for that matter, all of the prophecies in the Bible are the most powerful evidence that there is a God outside of our time domain, and He has told us what will happen in the future. There are thousands of prophecies in the Bible. Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 9 is just one of them, but it is the easiest one to see God’s ability to speak about the future and what is going to take place. This is a prophecy that deals specifically with God’s plan for the nation Israel, and what God is going to do with them, and when He is going to do it. Daniel declares, “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Dan. 9:24-27). First, notice that God is not talking about a plan for the Gentiles here; He is talking to His people about their holy city, Jerusalem. The whole point of this prophecy is to reveal what God is going to do for the Jews and when He is going to do it. This prophecy was given to Daniel the Prophet in 539 BC in the first year of Darius the king (Dan. 9:1). God gives a very specific time note for when this prophecy would begin. The prediction begins, from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem. This command to restore and build Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes on March 14, 445 BC. This is almost a hundred years after this prophecy was given to Daniel (Neh. 2:1). The first part of the prophecy would end when Messiah the Prince would arrive in the city of Jerusalem. God says that from the time this command is given to restore and build Jerusalem to the Messiah’s arrival would be a total of 69 weeks. 7 weeks are given to restore and build the city, and after another 62 weeks the Messiah would come, totaling 69 weeks. But, why does God use this terminology of weeks? Weeks have been used as an idiom throughout the Scripture to refer to weeks of years. If you study Genesis 29:20 and Genesis 29:27-28, you will see that Jacob worked for his uncle Laban for one week or 7 years so he could marry his daughter Rachel. This is also how the Jewish people counted their seven Sabbath of years to reach their Jubilee festival (Leviticus 25:8-9). The Jewish people were very familiar with weeks or Sabbaths of years. The word weeks was known to the Jews as a heptad, or a grouping together of seven things. Just as we use the word dozen to refer to 12 things, or a decade to refer to a 10-year period of time. So, literally the prophecy declares, there are 70 sevens (or weeks of years, or 490 years) determined on your people. But, are we sure that these weeks are a grouping of 7 years? The answer is clearly years, because Daniel was asking God to reveal to him His plan for the years of desolations that have been determined upon the Jewish people (Dan. 9:2).

Now back to the first part of the prophecy. When you multiply 69 weeks of years you come up with 483 years according to the Babylonian calendar of a 360-day year, or 173,880 days. If you count forward 173,880 days from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem on March 14, 445 BC you come to April 6, 32 AD. Now, was there anyone around 32 AD who was claiming to be the Messiah, the Prince of the Israel? Yes! April 6, 32 AD is the very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and for the first time allowed the people to proclaim Him Messiah saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! The King of Israel!” (John 12:13). This makes this one of the most specific predictions made in all of Scripture. We know therefore that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy! But that is not all.

What else does this prophecy predict? The "Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." This is again exactly what took place. The Messiah was cut off, which is a biblical term for capital punishment (Gen. 9:11; Jer. 11:19). Then 28 years later the Romans came and destroyed the city and the sanctuary which was the Jewish Temple. Do you realize how specific this prophecy is? God tells His people over 500 years before the Messiah is to come to His people what is going to happen to Him. He was put to death, but not for Himself. Why would He be put to death? It was for the sins of the whole world (Isa. 53:3-6; John 1:29).

Next, we come to last week of years in Daniel 9:27. “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” This part of the prophecy is the last 7 years of this prediction, and it refers to when the times of the Gentiles has been fulfilled, and God is again going to deal with the nation Israel. From studying all of these passages we know why there is a huge gap of time between the 69 weeks of years and the 70th week of years. Why? Because this is the mystery that God would reach out to the Gentile world and save whosoever would believe. When God chooses to fulfill His plan with the Gentile nations, then He will continue His work with the Jewish people.

This individual referred to as “he” in Daniel 9:27, who confirms a covenant with the Jews for a 7-year period of time, will be the Anti-Christ referred to in Revelation 13. He will continue in authority for 42 months, or 3 ½ years, and in the middle of the 7-year tribulation he will break this covenant with the Jews. Notice how Jesus referred to this moment in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus said, Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:15-21). Note that Jesus directly connects Daniel 9:27 to the great Tribulation period, and the time just before He returns to this earth. This abomination of desolation is most likely when the Anti-Christ stops the sacrifices in the Temple and sets up an image of Himself in the Holy of Holies within the Temple (2 Thess. 2:3-4). He will command all upon the earth to worship this image. The last 3 ½ years will then bring forth some of the most terrible judgments that have ever occurred upon the earth. Jesus said that unless those days were shortened no flesh would survive these brutal times (Matt. 24:22).

The mystery of God’s election and gifts.  Vs. 28-29

Another part of this mystery is God’s election of the Jewish people within His eternal plan and the gift of grace He bestows upon them. Paul declares, “Concerning the gospel they [the Jews] are enemies for your [Gentiles] sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:28-29). What does Paul mean when he says that the Jews are enemies for your sake, but by election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers? Some churches look at the Jewish people as though they are God’s enemies, because the Lord judged the Jews by removing them from their land, and has poured out upon the Gentiles such rich blessings. But, because of God’s election or His sovereign promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they are still beloved to God. This shows the great difference between what we see, and what in reality is still true about the Jewish people.

In addition, many times people think of election as a harsh and arbitrary thing, where God chooses one person and rejects another. But, note that election is referred to here in this passage as a thing of love and mercy. God declares that the Jewish people are beloved for the sake of the fathers. Even though the majority of the Jews have rejected their Messiah, God is still faithful to His promises to them, because of His faithfulness to His Word! How gracious is the heart of God!

Paul’s point is to say that God’s gifts of grace, His plan, His calling, and His purpose for the Jews are all irrevocable. God spoke through the Prophet Malachi and said, “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Mal. 3:6). He will not go back on His promises to the nation of Israel. Again, for those who believe in Replacement Theology, may God open your eyes to His Word concerning the Jews, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” The proof of this fact, I will say again, is that many of the promises made to the Jews are still unfulfilled. When will these promises find their fulfillment? Right after the Second Coming of Christ there will be a Millennium where Jesus will reign for a thousand years here on the earth (Rev. 20). So, either God fulfills His promises, or He is a liar; these are the only options. I believe He is faithful and will accomplish what He has promised. God declared in Isaiah 14:24, “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”  Also, in Isaiah 46:11, God says, Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” When God makes promises, He keeps His word! The visible proof that God is faithful to His Word is the fact that the nation Israel had come back into their land and was established as a nation in 1948. Yes, the Jews forfeited God’s blessings for the last 1900 years because of their unbelief, but today God is revealing that He is about to turn Israel back to Himself. Be assured that there is no other nation in the history of the world that has been displaced from their land for over 1900 years, and come back again. I challenge you to find one example like this in all of history. There are none! Why? Because these are His people. God said it, and He has brought it to pass. What a tremendous witness to His faithfulness to fulfill His promises!

The mystery of God’s mercy.  Vs. 30-32

Paul finishes this topic with a summary statement concerning the Jews and Gentiles with an encouragement. He declared, “For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all” (Rom. 11:30-32). First, note Paul’s last phrase, “that He might have mercy on all.” Does this not reveal the heart of God and His intentions toward all people, including the Jews? Do you see the Father as a God who wants to bestow mercy on all? Or, do you think, No, He just selects and chooses certain people to have mercy on, and He rejects others? That is not a biblical concept. The Bible teaches that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should and can come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God’s election and choosing of people is, what I consider, a powerful revelation of His awesome mercy. This is why the Jewish people have not been completely consumed and rejected, because God is faithful to His promises. God has promised to always keep a remnant of His people alive even though the nation has rejected Him (Eze. 6:8; Micah 2:12). There is even a remnant of Jews today who believe in Jesus, and there will be many more in the future. At the end of the tribulation period Christ will reveal Himself to His people as we studied earlier in Zechariah 12:10 where God says, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” This is where God will have mercy on His people and they will mourn for the Son of God that they crucified so long ago. It is an awesome example of His irrevocable promise to His people that He will have mercy on them again. Today, His door is open wide to Jew and Gentile alike to receive mercy and forgiveness. 

In addition, notice the reason God has shown mercy to us Gentiles. Why would God do this for those who are not His people? To reveal to the Jewish people that if Gentiles who were once disobedient to God can receive mercy, then so can the Jews. Note these words, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. The example of God’s mercy to the Gentiles also shows His outstretched hand to the Jews, that they may receive His forgiveness. God has done something so gracious. He has “committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.” Here the heart of God is revealed! He wants to have mercy on all! But does this mean, as some think, that we can be as disobedient as we would like to be and do whatever we please? Can we live however we choose, because we know He is going to have mercy on us? No, not at all. People think, Well if God’s gifts and calling will not ever be taken away, and He wants to have mercy on all of us, then I will simply live as I please and let God show me His great mercy. Those who believe such things are using God’s grace as a license to sin, and God will not be mocked like this. God knows the heart of every man. As I have already stated in this study, a person can forfeit God’s gifts and calling upon their life through disobedience. That is clearly taught in this section of Scripture. In Romans 11:20-22 He says, “Because of unbelief they were broken off, [referring to the Jews] and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God.” God’s judgment upon the nation Israel is His severity because He will not bless unbelief. His goodness is revealed by the fact that He will have mercy on any and all who will repent from their sin. God’s promise to show mercy to all, is simply the fruit of the sacrifice of His Son for the sin of whole world (John 3:16; John 1:29). 

Another biblical example of God’s goodness and severity is found in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” The goodness of God is revealed in the fact that He died for me, and that I have the opportunity to surrender myself and die to self with Him, and then experience His life within me. The goodness of God is given, if I endure in faith through the trials of this life, and overcome the spiritual warfare that seeks to turn me away from the Lord. I will then one day reign with Him! But, the severity of God is declared in the fact that if I don’t endure, and I deny Jesus, then He will also deny me. Why would God do this? The answer is given in the statement, If I am faithless, He remains faithful.” Here is the key to this passage: He always remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. What is He faithful to? He is faithful to His promise of goodness to forgive, and He is faithful to be severe if I deny Him. In other words, He will never violate His own Word. He will never fail to uphold His covenant and His promises. The door is wide open for anyone who will die with Him, anyone who will turn from their sins and believe and follow. They will receive forgiveness and blessing. But if we deny Him, He will deny us. Why? Because He cannot deny Himself. What does it mean, “He cannot deny Himself?” He cannot act contrary to His own character and violate the Word He has spoken. Would it be in keeping with the character of God or the Word of God for Him to bless unbelief and disobedience? What would you think if God said, “You can have everything you want, even though you are rebelling against Me?” That would be a total contradiction to His nature, His character, and the promises He has made. He will never do that! He cannot deny Himself, because He is the faithful One. He is faithful to bring mercy or severity, whichever is just. You can trust in His faithfulness and fairness. This should be your hope, and is the hope of Israel today. 

Paul’s ultimate message in this section of Scripture is to encourage all Christians to show mercy to the Jews. This is the ultimate character quality of a Christian. Jesus said in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Jesus also said in Luke 6:35-36, “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Whoever has betrayed you, whoever has hurt you, you need to forgive; you need to be kind; you need to let it go. I believe this is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. Be merciful! If you are realizing that there is unforgiveness in your heart towards someone, choose to forgive them just as God has forgiven you. Let it go! Solomon said in Proverbs 11:17, “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” In other words, it’s cruel to be unmerciful, and it only harms you. Just as God has shown you mercy, show it to others. Show the Jews mercy today when you meet them. Love them and share with them that God is not finished with them yet. They are His people. They have been called by Him. Tell them of His mercy!