Romans 11:25-36 (ESV)
The Mystery of Israel's Salvation
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers:[a] a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now[b]receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Someone once asked me why God had Noah take two mosquitoes into the ark. I’m sure I had a wise reply. “Well, clearly mosquitoes contribute something necessary to the working of the world.”
The Bible gives us answers to many questions, but not all questions. And sometimes we don’t like or understand the answers we do find. Today’s passage answers a question many have asked through the years. Why didn’t all the Jews accept Jesus as the Savior? Many Jews did, of course, but not all of them. Why not?
“It’s a mystery,” Paul says in Romans. Well, thank you Paul! This may not sit well with those of us who need a clear, verifiable understanding before accepting or trusting or believing. We can know a lot about the Lord, but not everything. We can even see much of what God is doing in the world today, but we can’t see it all. That’s where faith comes in. Faith means believing and trusting in something that cannot be verified or proven.
Maybe Noah had to think twice about the mosquitoes, but he shoed them onto the ark anyway. Perhaps we have to think twice, or three, or four times, about the “what?” or “why?” or “when?” of God in our lives. It’s ok to wonder. It’s ok to ask questions. Just remember that sometimes we will get answers that can only be grasped with faith.
O Lord, our Lord, your power and glory, your strength and might, your very presence would be too much for us, except that you revealed yourself in Jesus—the One who took our sins on himself as he hung on the cross. We truly cannot comprehend the magnitude of your love. Give us understanding as you see fit.
Give us faith, that we might believe. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Pastor Pam Mitcham Pastor of Community Care firstname.lastname@example.org