Sunday, 1 September 2013
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” Romans 9:26
Verse 26 is a continuation of Paul’s citing of Hosea. He turns from chapter 2, back to chapter 1 and cites verse 10. This is, as was noted yesterday, speaking to Israel about Israel. This select group of people had rejected Him. Because of this, He had rejected them. But God says,
“It shall come to pass” – As surely as time will move forward, there will be a time when the thing will come about.
“In the place where it was said to them” – The nation was exiled for disobedience. Before that occurred, it was said through the prophets that there would be a sentence pronounced. And then, after the exile happened, in that place, the pronouncement was made.
“You are not My people” – The bond is broken and you who once were the object of my affection and the apple of my eye have now been case off and disinherited.
But what is implied for the term “You are not My people” is also implied for the second statement…
“There they shall be called sons of the living God” – In that same place of prophecy which is the land of Israel, and in that same place of judgment, which is exile from the land, God has determined that Israel shall once again “be called sons of the living God.”
This was seen very clearly in the chiasm which was included with the commentary on 9:25. What God rejects, God can also reclaim as His.
The term “shall be” is, in the biblical context, as reliable as if it were already done. In other words, when God speaks that something “shall be” it is as certain as something that has already come to pass. Jesus speaks this way at times, such as in Mark 11:17 –
“Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’”?
Understanding God’s sovereign decree concerning Israel, we can therefore deduce that the same is true concerning the gentiles. If God can disinherit His people and then re-establish them as His own, then He can do so for those who are outside of that specially chosen line as well. This is where Paul is going with this, and which we will see as he continues along.
During the time of Israel’s exile for disobedience, there has been a time of God’s favor upon the gentile world. The precedent has been set in Israel and therefore it can, and does, apply to those who are not Israel as well. The interesting thing for people alive in this day is that Israel as a nation has been re-gathered to Israel the land. It does appear that the prophecy which was pronounced is coming to pass. If so, then the “times of the gentiles” may now be coming to a close.
Life application: If God’s word says something will come to pass, it is as certain as if it has already happened. When we dismiss prophecies because they don’t fit our theology, we treat God’s word as less-than-reliable. Likewise, when we dismiss a particular verse because it is contrary to what we want to hear, we hold God’s word in contempt. What God says, should always take precedence over what we do or don’t like.
Heavenly Father, at times I have dismissed a particular verse or tenet in Your word because it was contrary to what I thought was correct. However, as I have grown in Your word, I have learned that what I like or don’t like is completely irrelevant. You are God; I am man. May I never dismiss even the slightest precept, but hold fast to what You instruct. Thank You for Your word. Amen.