Saturday 23 April 2016

Bible Book:

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever.” (v. 36)

Romans 11:25-36 Saturday 23 April 2016

Psalm: Psalm 77


As Paul brings to a conclusion his reflections on theIsraelites' continuing relationship with God in the light of theirrejection of God's Son, some of his arguments may seem difficult toentirely understand, or may even feel unpalatable. For Paul seemsto be saying that God played a part in hardening the hearts of theIsraelites in order that it is clear that salvation is entirelydependent on God's mercy and not through anything that people mayachieve or work for on their own. We may wish to continue wrestlingwith Paul's argument, and he acknowledges that we cannot fullycomprehend God's ways (verses 33-34), but his fundamental pointshould not be lost: God's purposes will not be defeated and God'spurposes are for salvation. The day will come when God's love willreign supreme.

The final verses of this chapter are poetic words of praise.Ultimately our knowledge and experience of God are limited andthere comes a point when we encounter the mystery of God. Ourresponse, and our hope, is to trust and have faith in the God whois beyond our comprehension and whose love is beyond ourunderstanding. This is not to devalue nor discourage ourtheological wrestling or our works of love or costly acts ofdiscipleship, but to remind us again of the God who is greater thanall and who has given us salvation through Jesus. Ultimatelynothing is dependent on us, and we have the assurance that God'spurposes will be fulfilled because God has already acted. Thequestion we are left with is the question that echoes through thesepassages: do we have faith?

To Ponder

  • Do you find contemplating the mystery of God reassuring orchallenging? Why?
  • Paul's underlying question is challenging: do you have faith?How do you respond?

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