We can’t fully comprehend God’s path through history. It’s no wonder that skilled Bible teachers disagree on the meaning of “and in this way all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26, NIV).
Verse 25 qualifies Israel’s blindness. It’s partial and temporary. A Jewish remnant has existed for centuries. A few have always seen with 20/20 vision that Jesus is the Messiah. Israel’s blindness will continue—"until the full number of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25, NIV). Someday, all the Gentiles who are coming aboard the kingdom ship will be aboard. God’s alarm clock is set for that hour. When it rings, no one can bargain for additional time.
Because God keeps His promises, a marvelous thing will happen to Israel: “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34, NIV).
At the least, that means Israel as a whole will be saved. The small, saved remnant will swell into a saved majority. It’ll happen when Jesus returns to earth. Perhaps, it’ll come about like Paul’s conversion. Jesus’ appearance to Paul instantly set aside all his arguments and self-righteousness. It led him to the obedience of faith.
In the first century, the rapid growth of Christianity among the Gentiles further hardened the Jews against the gospel. In God’s wisdom, He’s placed both Jews and Gentiles in the corral of disobedience that He might have mercy on both. Belief signals the beginning of the end of that disobedience.
God’s wisdom and knowledge are limitless. He applies His knowledge to accomplish His plan for the universe. We can’t easily explain His ways. Mysteries abound. His judgments are unsearchable. His ways are past finding out. He’s no man’s counselee or debtor.
Verse 36 rebukes our me-centered view of the universe: “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36, NIV). God is the ultimate source of everything. He sustains the universe and all life within it. He’s the goal toward which the universe moves. He’s the spring of the river of everything. He’s the channel in which it flows. He’s the ocean which is its destination.
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