God Did Not Cast You Away – 5-9-22

“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 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Romans chapter 11 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Israel’s Rejection Not Total

11 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. [a]But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

And David says:

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

Israel’s Rejection Not Final

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their [b]fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their [c]fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and [d]fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, [e]goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own [f]opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be [g]saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has [h]committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

33 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!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 11:6 NU omits the rest of v. 6.
  2. Romans 11:11 trespass
  3. Romans 11:12 trespass
  4. Romans 11:17 richness
  5. Romans 11:22 NU adds of God
  6. Romans 11:25 estimation
  7. Romans 11:26 Or delivered
  8. Romans 11:32 shut them all up in

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 20:31- “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Is anyone still doing the Romans 1 challenge?  It is a challenge to work with God to root out any unrighteousness and then part 2 is to practice good habit with intention. I have shared some of the dust that came to the surface in my life through this – doing a spring cleaning. No matter what stage or how long you have been serving God – if you challenge yourself and God to find an area to work on, you’ll find it. This has been powerfule:

PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with all/any unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me even though I knew better and I understand the righteous judgment of You, God. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways – convict me strongly when I do wrong that I may notice and stop. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes of bondage and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you. Please reignite the fire in my belly that I may burn for you in boldness. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

HEALTHY ROOTS CHALLENGE: this challenge is to heal and strengthen our roots
One – Give God ALL the Glory
Two – Dedicated time for thanksgiving, and be thankful for all things!
Three – Guard our hearts and mind, rebuking and stopping sinful or not godly thoughts, not letting our minds wander and be prayerful and intentional in thinking.
Four – And finally, let us be humble. Humble enough to say I do not know it all and God has something new to reveal to me in this book and in this day.
(Please review the blog post from 4/25/22 for further explanation as to why we are doing this daily and for the scriptural reference instructing us to make these things a practice in our lives. Until they flow from us naturally, we can intentionally and with all of our hearts, scheduled them into our lives and watch them heal and reroute our unhealthy roots that gave sinful/evil fruits.)

In a lot of ways this level of introspection is moving us out of the frying pan and into the fire in terms of the trial in our lives. But that is just God burning up the mess – refining us; but we talked about that a bit last week. I shared how in my own life and in the midst of the hard times and struggles that man’s eyes see – if you look with Gods eyes, I am standing firm and abundantly blessed.
So in review – we are to die to self and glory in the Lord. He has a perfect plan and the painful death to flesh and the uncomfortable repenting of sins and the trial used to squeeze it out of you are all part of his perfect plan. Then Paul starts to explain God how Gentiles are adopted and how Jews will reject this plan just as they rejected Christ. And Paul said – he will keep trying to reach the Jews and we should all try to reach both Jew and Gentile.

Now, let us look at chapter eleven:

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,”
God did not forsake the Jews and has a plan to restore them – read the end of the book. But God has to do a few things in order to fulfill all the prophecies and humble His people. Another lesson on how important humility is.

Now let’s read what Elijah said:
Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 
At the time this was spoken it was a word specifically for Elijah. But Paul says, by way of reference, that this is more than just a word for Elijah – but also a prophetic word for Paul’s time (as he says “this present time” in the next verse. Which mean it is outside of time and space and God has always reserved a remnant.

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Therefore by grace I was called, and you were called, to keep ourselves holy to strive to be righteous to do the good works of God… but it isn’t what we do – it is by grace. Glorious grace. I mean, if not for grace where would we be? Basking in our own self destruction?! It is by grace we are called and only in His mercy, He helps us do and be what is required of us.

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:“God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.”

The elect is another term for the remnant and Paul was pointing out that there is a remnant or elect of the Jews who will believe in Jesus and be saved. The rest of the Jews, God will blind them and stop up their ears.
Now let’s get into theology – many say this passage refers to the Jews who believe and there is NO Gentile elect. Others believe the elect is full of any believer while still others think there are to versions of the elect – one which is Jewish and another which is Gentile. What is very interesting is that we have already exhausted our info on these remnant people – they will not bow to the enemy and God set them apart. I do not have my own theory on who the elect are in our present time. And Paul doesn’t clarify who they were in his time. In Elijah’s time, they were Jews.
But I know this – vaccine and trial and test and attack have come against me and I have not bowed and will not bow – and it was only by grace that I didn’t. I can say I am a remnant or a type of symbolic remnant – a representation of the archetype. You hopefully are too – or you are well on your way to being immoveable.

There is more said about those who didn’t believe. It is important to note that they had the opportunity and rejected, and this is not referring to those who ignorantly never knew.  Is this only speaking of Jews or of Jews and Gentiles – like the remnant it is unclear about the future of the statement, but in Paul’s time he is speaking to Jews. Is it possible Gentiles can also fall under the same fate? Yes, which is why many preachers do not take the time to differentiate and just preach it… although I have honestly not heard a sermon on God’s Judgments on the Unbelieving since the 1980s.
So let’s just go with that theme – all unbelieving – and take a look at these judgments. Just remember God is love so He is just in Love. And As we read at the beginning of Romans (where we were sinful and running from the judgments) if we do not repent these judgments fall on all unrighteous (and if you need to know how to be counted as righteous – go start this book all over again!)
First God himself will give them a stupid spirit – yep, God will make them stupid, er, um… well, that is one translation. Most translate that word from Greek to mean a lying spirit – or give them over to believe their own lies. Then God blinds them to seeing the truth and makes them deaf to the truth.
I was talking with a friend last week and addiction came up. I know a few people who went from saved by the blood and redeemed to addict. And my friend, a godly woman, asks rhetorically – how does one just do drugs? She went on to say she fears the consequences too much to even try. And lucky for her, she would not even know where to buy them.
To answer the rhetorical question – because that is what people with Asperger’s do (giggles) – At some point those believers doubted, fell into disbelief. And once they did not believe they had rejected God. And you would be shocked how many still come to church weekly and sing and pay tithe – but do not believe therefore literally rejecting God. One little doubt can open a door to a slide you didn’t see coming. Stay humble and always pray for more belief and more faith.
Those unbelieving are eventually given over to their lies. It’s for their own good really. And they become blind and deaf and don’t even know it. That is how one ends up in a situation to try drugs – or in other situations with other sins.  (This is why our daily prayer askes for God to open eyes and ears – any of us at any time could be going blind or deaf and not even realize it. So pray it daily with me!)

The Judgments then continue:

And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”

Their table becomes a snare – the symbol of a table is rich throughout the bible. The core of all relationships are at the table. The core of socializing is at the table. So is provision, fullness, food and fuel. You can understand stumbling block, something you trip over. Recompense is a payment or to repay for something. Dark eyes is blindness again. And bow down their back is a symbol of humility – but not the kind that leads to repentance. It is more like bowing to a king because you have to – but to do it always would imply that it leads to slavery and being the lowest and having to bow to everyone.
To me the fact that this thought wraps up with the word bow is interesting. Bow is at the beginning – with the remnant who will not bow. And now bow is one of the judgments God drops onto those who reject Him.

Israel’s rejection is not final – nor is the rejection by anyone. God uses the humbling process to wake us up to repent. Let’s take a look at how Paul says it:

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!”
God is literally saving me, a Gentile, to provoke the Jews to jealousy – however, dig a little deeper you will see He is humbling them like the prodigal son to bring them home and give them a greater fullness.
If you and I can do great exploits in His name – how much more will these be able to do? They will be God’s joy!

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”

As gentiles who believe we should be blessed when they return and the favor shines brighter on them. We aren’t the ones being provoked to jealousy – we are here by adoption and thankful to even be included.

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”
Pay close attention here – Israel is the firstfruits. They are holy. For example, I made a new line of jewelry for my business – a luxury line. It all was inspired by these beautiful charms that demanded a higher quality product. When released, everyone wanted it, and it wasn’t even the most expensive – it was just the first fruit of the line. Although everyone wanted it – So did God and I missed that. And so no one ended up buying it. I pulled the product down from the sale page and mailed it to a church to sow a seed for the kingdom of God. They are holy, first fruit. They were not mine to sell.

17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 

20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.”

This is such a beautiful explanation of the place of a Gentile. And I love the warning NOT to be haughty. Stay humble. We have no right to be proud in Christ – we did nothing, except clumsily accept love. Little children on a playground boast for their daddies – and get a humbling lesson from their fathers when they get home.  Humble doesn’t mean without joy, or walking around bowing and looking down and downcast. Hold your head up and look for opportunity to serve. Smile with all joy. And respect our Daddy.

22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?”

Paul explains it all so we understand the order of things and how we all fit – because we do fit and we do belong:

25 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. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

Now to both Jew and Gentile – who believe – Paul writes:
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.”
“They are enemies” are the unbelievers.

29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
So if you have a gift or a calling – God doesn’t remove it if you backslide. Or if you walk away and come back. Or if you begin to grow cold and do not even realize it. You can’t tell by watching the gifts. You can only tell by fruits.  

30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.”
This is more knowing and understanding who you are and where you belong in the big picture. Gentile get in because Israel screwed up – but it was so we were all equally screwed up and God could dish out mercy consistently.

33 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! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

Oh how big and glorious is our God! We can’t wash our clothes before we put them in the washing machine – jump in the washer and let Jesus clean us. He is such a big and glorious God. God is real and loving and He is for us – even if it isn’t working for us.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: