Romans 10:18-21 (ESV)
But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
Just a short post today to wrap up Romans 10! For context, Paul here is speaking primarily about the Israelites, the Jewish nation. Up until this point we have been studying how the Gospel is received by faith alone – nothing else.
In the time prior to Jesus, God reached out and chose the nation of Israel to be His chosen people. Not because they were worthy (Deut 7:7-8), not because they were better, or bigger, or for any other reason than to show His favour.
And despite this choosing many before and after Jesus rejected God, rejected His message and abused His favour. Paul quotes heavily from Isaiah in these verses, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” God is patient and wants all people to come to a knowledge of Him, but that doesn’t mean they all accept!
But since Jesus has fulfilled the law, we become the fulfillment of the prophecy – we have been found though we did not seek, we have seen God, despite not asking for it. So what can we say? We can only affirm that the message of the Gospel is ubiquitous – it is universal, open to all who would receive it.
In the next chapter (starting with our next Romans post), we will see more about how God has made the Gospel available to all, but despite this, it does not discount the nation of Israel – they are also called to accept the Gospel; indeed many already have!
Lord God, thank you that your Gospel is available to us all. Thank you that you haven’t just chosen a small group of people to share your good news with, but made the message open, available to all, that we might be saved from our sins and made right before you. Help us to understand the true wonder of what you have done, and share that with others. In Jesus Name. Amen.