Has the Word of God Taken no Effect?

But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.’ And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, ‘The older shall serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’” (Romans 9:6-13).

Accepting God’s will on His terms is humanity’s great, ongoing challenge.

The physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had no objections to Jehovah’s scarlet thread of redemption until the Messiah He sent was not what they had in mind. They did not want a Deliverer who overturned the tables of the Jewish moneychangers in Jerusalem’s temple. They wanted a door-kicking general who overthrew the political oppression of Caesar and his Gentile army.

Paul’s declaration of Romans 9:6—“It is not that the word of God has taken no effect”—launches his precise identification of where and why the Jews’ rejection of the gospel is cate­gorically wrong. His logic and proof—“They are not all Israel who are of Israel”—is deva­stating to their pathetic excuses for unbelief in the Messiah and His gospel.

How many Jews objected to God’s decision to choose Abram and make him the father of a multitude? If Jehovah had chosen Abram’s brother instead, where would the Jews be?

How many Jews objected to God’s decision to choose Isaac over Abraham’s other sons (i.e., the ones he fathered with Hagar and Keturah)? If Jehovah had chosen Ishmael instead of Isaac, where would the Jews be? So, why was Isaac chosen instead? Because God said so (v. 9).

How many Jews objected to God’s prenatal decision to choose Jacob over Esau? If Jehovah had chosen the older twin instead of his younger brother, where would the Jews be? So, why was God’s seed promise to Abraham fulfilled in Jacob? Because God said so (v. 12).

Paul’s countrymen according to the flesh did not have a single objection to God’s will when He selected Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau. Each of their initial patriarchs was chosen because of one reason—God chose to do so and His word did not fail. Each choice was an essential link in His providential chain which brought Christ and His gospel into the world.

The fact that God’s provision of a Messiah/Deliverer was not according to their liking is no excuse for their unbelief. No one gets to pick and chose which part(s) of God’s will and ways he accepts. The Christ came according to the flesh as a Jew; He died according to the Scriptures, was buried and rose again according to the Scriptures; He is over all; He is the eternally blessed God; and His gospel must be believed and obeyed to be saved (Mark 16:16). It is a package deal, not a cafeteria. It is all or nothing.

He who disbelieves the gospel and thus fails to obey it “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), even if you have Abraham as your forefather.

God’s will is not subject to your petty approval.

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Author: jchowning

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