By Benjamin H. Liles
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ~ Romans 11:33, New King James
When we come across Paul's words here in the eleventh chapter of Romans, he's making two points in what he's saying: 1) Israel's rejection isn't total; 2) Israel's rejection isn't final. The big part is that Paul says what he does in Romans 11:33 to prove that God's mind is always on Israel. Paul goes so far as to quote both Isaiah and Jeremiah, saying, "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?" (Isaiah 40:13). “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?" (Jeremiah 23:18). Paul finalizes that whole with, "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."
What is the whole point of this? If we look back at Romans 10 Paul writes two main points. From verses one through thirteen, Paul talks about how much Israel needs the Gospel message. then in verses fourteen though twenty-one he talks about how much unbelief there is by Israel in hearing the Gospel message. So, we see why Paul continues on in the eleventh chapter about Israel's rejection not being total or final. At the beginning of Romans 12 Paul talks about how we need to be living sacrifices to God.
What can we say Paul is talking about in those chapters and what it means? We can say for sure one thing is evident. Paul says this, "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" (Romans 11:25). The whole of the Gospel message should have been given through Israel's obedience so many years before.
Let me put it this way: when Moses found God in the burning bush and God spoke to him to going back to Egypt to bring Israel out it was to God's glory that His majesty and glory be made known in and through Israel. One of those first things He told Abraham was, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice" (Genesis 22:18, New American Standard). If in Abraham's seed we would have the nation of Israel (Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob; Jacob who would later be blessed by God and be renamed to Israel), through the Kingdom of Judah, who had once been a son to Israel, one would come to be King. And sure enough a shepherd boy named David did become king, but he wasn't the King scriptures told about.
No, rather scriptures foretell of One who would succeed David as being greater. We see His genealogy spelled out in both Matthew and Luke's accounts. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There are articles I have written that prove Jesus' legitimate claim to be the rightful King of Israel. But in case you want to get to those easier, you can do so here, here, or even here. There are others, but for the sake of time it is much easier to give a handful of written articles I can take you to.
Paul and the other apostles gave the Gospel of Christ to so many within the boundaries of Israel that eventually the message was taken outside of those borders as Jesus commanded: "you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8b, Berean Study). From the time God created mankind to even now, God intended on blessing this world through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is up to us on how we respond to that message.
Do we hang on to our sin remaining at odds with and towards a God who designed Hell for principalities and powers? Or rather do we run from our sins, clinging ever tightly to the One who sets us free from sin and death? Israel's partial rejection by God was due in part to the fact they allowed themselves to be blinded as to who was before them two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free, and He still does so to this day! I'm a miracle of God. So is the child who is being raised by a single mom. So are you, if you choose to be.
Father, You know better than I on how to give the Gospel message to this lost and dying world. I don't know how to. Not fully. At best I am a servant who does his best in doing as You command. I know Your word calls me Your child, a saint. But I still sin. I make mistakes and at times it makes it hard to show others how devoted I am to You. I keep on however, doing my best to live in the light of Your love and truth. Your word is truth. And all I can do is point the way to You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.