Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, July 13, 2023
One In Messiah part 15 – Romans, part 126
Romans 9:27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of B’nei-Israel be as the sand of the sea, only the remnant shall be saved. 28 For Adonai will carry out His word upon the earth, bringing it to an end and finishing quickly.”
Paul is quoting Isaiah 10:22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed. Justice overflows. 23 For a complete destruction, as decreed, will Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot make throughout the whole land.
Paul is limited (by space and time) in his letter to the Romans. He can’t quote all of Scripture. Neither can he make every argument or explanation. We are likewise limited, but have somewhat more liberty than Paul. Our format allows for some comment on what Paul has written. After studying this, I’m convinced Paul did an amazing job of applying Isaiah’s prophecy (which was originally spoken over another situation) to the issue of the salvation of Israel.
Paul has already written earlier in this chapter… Romans 9:6b …For not all those who are descended from Israel are Israel. And he will yet write two chapters later. Romans 11:26a …and in this way all Israel will be saved. Can we reconcile these two apparently conflicting statements?
This actually takes us back to the conflict between Calvin (salvation for the elect) and Arminius (universal salvation). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Calvinist%E2%80%93Arminian_debate Given the length of the debate and the esteemed theologians (going back to Augustine) involved, what chance do you or I have of settling it for sure?
I will tell you this… God is on the throne! Regardless of how we settle this issue in our minds, God is just and His judgment is without reproach. I also believe in God’s universal love, for the saved and the lost. Let me offer one example. Yeshua is speaking prophetically over Capernaum. Matthew 11:23 “And you, Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will go down to Sheol! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 Nevertheless I tell you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you.”
“More bearable for…Sodom?” What is worse than a destructive hail of fire and brimstone? Yeshua is saying that those who died in the destruction of Sodom will be better off than those who rejected Yeshua in Capernaum. That’s an amazing statement that seems to favor the Armeinius point of view… or does it? Hmmmmm!
Grace, grace, grace… some will receive it and some will reject it. It is not a license to sin, but the God-given desire and empowerment to obey Him. Grace is universally available, but only some say yes to God. This is true for all people throughout the world and for the children of Israel in particular. We can have a heart for universal salvation, but we don’t bring conviction to anyone. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction to those we love. Shalom shalom.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 13 July 2023 24th of Tamuz, 5783
Nu 33:50-34:15 Ez 18-19 Neh 13 Eph 6 (Lk 18)