March 8, 2020
I suppose that the most asked question in the universe is “why?” Because 2-4 year-olds ask that question so many times, no other question gets asked more often. But perhaps the next most-often asked question is, “what happened?” As in,
- “I just received this month’s credit card bill. What happened?”
- “Did you see the game last night? What happened?”
- “I just pulled the souffle out of the oven and it fell. What happened?”
- “I just had one of your cookies. They’re perfect. What happened? (How do you do that?)”
- “I just heard about your doctor visit. You seem so healthy. What happened?”
- “The poll results are in on the election. What happened?”
- “I just heard that they got engaged. I didn’t even know they were dating. What happened?”
- “That storm came so suddenly and the devastation is so terrible. What happened?”
- “Son, you were two hours late coming in last night. What happened?”
All those questions (and hundreds more like them) tell us that there are perplexing things all around us — things that don’t make sense to us. And that kind of perplexity is what motivates Paul to write what he does in Romans 11:7-10. He has just reminded the Romans (and us) that God has not rejected Israel as His covenanted people. Yet Israel did reject God. And the natural question is, “what happened?” Why did Israel reject God and what happened to Israel when she rejected God? And what do we learn about God in the process? The way Paul asks the question is, what then (v. 7?. What should we think about God, His promise not to reject Israel, and the obvious rejection of God by Israel? What happened?
Paul is continuing to develop the same theme we saw in last week’s passage:
God is faithful to keep His covenant with His chosen nation, Israel.
God is faithful to keep His promises with all His chosen people.
How do you explain Israel’s failure to believe if God has not rejected her? In these verses, the apostle Paul provides three explanations of what happened to Israel and the promise of God to redeem Israel:
- What Happened? Israel’s Rebellion (v. 7a)
- What Happened? God’s Grace (v. 7b)
- What Happened? God’s Hardening (vv. 7c-10)
- The Reality Stated (v. 7c)
- The Reality Exemplified (vv. 8-10)
- The Reality Made Hopeful (vv. 11ff)
4. What Happened? Lessons Learned
- Man is responsible for his sin
- God does and will harden individual sinners (there is a time and limitation for repentance)
- God is overwhelmingly gracious and persistently faithful
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 11:7-10.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.