This is what God gave me today in His word:
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” (Romans 11:5-8)
Yes, sure there’s a remnant of people; those who have been lucky enough as to be “chosen” to be saved by grace from the wrath of God, but it seems God has put everyone else into a spirit of blind stupor! What sort of God would purposefully close the eyes and ears of His people to His own message of salvation? What God would bother sending His son to die a horrible death for the sins of “all people”, when all along He never actually intended to save them, but rather to doom them? Surely this “God” is both confused and cruel!
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! (Rom 11:11-12)
God is neither confused nor cruel. Rather, He purposefully blinds some people’s eyes, for a time, so that others may be saved. Not only that, but by the salvation of those ‘others’, to make the first group, in essence, realize what they’re missing out on; eternal life, and thus, perhaps repent. To put it as simply as possible: God puts some people into a spirit of stupor, in order to have a bad example. Others look at what they have become, and where it seems they’re going, and recoil from them, and towards Christ. Then, God opens the eyes and the ears, and takes away the spirit of stupor, so that the “bad example” realizes there is indeed a better way; trusting in Christ.
Yet, does this affect us today? So far everything we’ve been talking about is rather abstract; it doesn’t really touch our lives.
Well, there’s also an exhortation in the verses that we read. We can see it rather more clearly in the following verses:
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? (Rom 11:13-15)
Paul says that he, “magnified his ministry”. In other words, he made his ministry known to them; made the radical changes that were happening in the lives of those he spoke to, known to them. We, even if we don’t have a “ministry”, such as an actual Church, should still magnify our lives to those around us, by living in a way different to those who aren’t Christians.
You are Loved!