Romans 11 1 to 4 manusacript notes 01 05 14

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Romans 11 1 to 4 manusacript notes 01 05 14

  1. 1. Romans 11:2-4 HAS GOD REJECTED THIS PROMISE WITH ISRAEL January 05 2014 Charles e Whisnant HISTORAL NOTE: Zechariah, a minor prophet sent by God to encourage His people and warn them of the coming days. He was of a priestly family that was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC and he was born and educated in Babylon. He was a contemporary of Haggai. 1 THE APPLE OF HIS EYE: Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalms 17:8 and Zechariah 2:8 Why is the Lord determined to protect it? The apple is the pupil of the eye. It is the place through which light comes into the eye. It is the place of vision. As the Lord pours out vision after vision, He wants his people to see! He wants Israel to see as He sees; He wants us to see as He sees; through the apple of His eye. He wants you to see how precious you are to Him: for you the one whom He has chosen. Bear in mind that 'apple of my eye' does not mean that God loves Israel more than other nations. "God does not show favoritism" (Romans 2:11). Just as your eyelids and hand raised protects the pupil of your eye, so God protects his people, keeping his covenant to the Patriachs. He is shomer Israel, the One who keeps or guards Israel. Though Israel has suffered much, as a consequence both of Israel's sins and the sins of the nations, God has 2 kept his covenant and preserved Israel to this day. Amen? Psalms 105: 8, 10-15 He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, 9 The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. 10 Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, 1 http://www.prophecysigns.com/zechariah-intro/ 2 http://beitsimcha.org/s_ser/Zechariah2-3.Jan08.asp
  2. 2. Deuteronomy 28:10, 13 Some, well many believe that the church has taken the place of Israel. Has He? I don't believe so. Jeremiah 30:11Romans 11:1-2 Jeremiah 31:35-37 Romans 11:1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (NASB: ) 1 Samuel 12:22; 2 Kings 23:27; Psalms 77:7; 89:31-37; 94:14) Rejected (683) (apotheomai from apó = from + othéo = push, thrust, drive) means literally to push aside, thrust way (from) or push off. Figuratively as used here it means to reject, repudiate, refuse to listen to, to cast away or to put away (from). 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. Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel ? (NASB) (Genesis 44:15; Exodus 32:1; Acts 3:17; 7:40; Philippians 1:22) (Nehemiah 9:30; Luke 4:1; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 1:1) (Numbers 16:15; Jeremiah 18:19-23; John 4:1-3,11) How does Paul illustrate this remnant truth: The experience of Elijah 1 Kings 18:18-19, 39; 19:1 Romans 11:3 "Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE." (NASB: LORD, THEY HAVE KILLED THY PROPHETS THEY HAVE TORN DOWN THINE ALTARS: : AND I ALONE AM LEFT AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE: kago hupeleiphthen monos kai zetousin ten psuchen mou: Elijah stood for God and seemingly he stood alone. When threatened by wicked Queen Jezebel, Elijah’s mood became one of utter dejection & he fled in because of his fear. But as God reminded this great prophet, He always has a believing remnant (in Israel's day and our day) no matter how dark the day & no matter how great the unbelief. It is a basic teaching of the Word that the majority will fall from the faith, so God takes the remnant and begins over again. Not only did God always have a believing remnant (cf Isa1:9) but He always used them and blessed them as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Romans 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? "I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL." (NASB BUT WHAT IS THE DIVINE RESPONSE TO HIM: alla ti legei auto o chrematismos: Divine response (5538) (chrematismos) carries the idea of divine answer in the form of an oracle or revelation. I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL: (Numbers 25:3; Deuteronomy 4:3; Judges 2:13; 1 Kings 16:31; 2 Kings 10:19,20; Jeremiah 19:5; Hosea 2:8; Hosea 13:1; Zephaniah 1:4)
  3. 3. A Chosen Remnant Romans 11:1-4 Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. I want to try to explain this “whom He foreknew.” what does that mean in the context of what Paul is trying to say: I am going to use M. Lloyd Jones notes here: A better word here is “foreordained. Peter uses the word in First Peter 1:20 (we should get there some time this year on Wednesday night) Peter is refreering to our Lord's death and says that he was “foreordaianed before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. In our verse Romans 11:2 it therefore means the people whom God “foreordained”. It doe not just mean that God who knows everthing knows who is going to belive and who is going to reject the gospel. Anybody who has worked his way through the Epistle to the Romans could not believe that for a second. The whole argument in chapter 9 ws, that while these two children were still in the womb of their mother Jacob and Esau, God said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” They had not done anything at all. That is foreordinations, and that is the word that we have here. It means that God has taken a special interest in this nation. He had set his heart and affection upon them Indeed it goes further: God made and prepared this nation for Himself; In Amos 3:2 God addresses these people and says, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” Now that can only have one mean;ing. It does not mean that He knew about them because God knows about all the nations of the earth. It mean, “You only have I known with a special affection and interest; you alone are apeople who are a pecular possession to Me; I am in this intimate relationship to you. I have known you as I have known nobody else. I recognize you, you are My people'. That is what it means, and that is what God, of course, tells us everywhere in the Bible about His people. It is the teaching of the whole Bible about the children of Israel.
  4. 4. They had not just come into being like the other nations; they were not a nation like other nations. God prepared them as a special people for Himself, for His own peculiar possession. He knows them - “I will be your G”od, and you shall be My people'. He pledges Himself to them. All that is included in the idea of “foreknowlege” means “foreordination.” So the Apostle's statement is thisd: Why do I say God forbid? I say God forbid for this reason, that God has made this nation for Himself; if therefore He casts them away in the way you are suggesting, it means that is contradicing Himself, it means that God is going back upon His own purpose! Such a thing is unthinkable. The purpose of God are always sure. He sees the end from the beginning. God is immutable, He is unchangeable, He is the everelasting God. SO the Apostle has given us here in and of itself a sufficient explanation of why he speak so strongly and say, “God forbid”! We come this morning to Romans 11. Romans 9-11 is called a Theodicy — a vindication or defense of God. In Romans 1-8, Paul has laid out God’s sovereign plan of salvation in Yeshua Ha'Moshiach. The Jewish nation as a whole had rejected that Yeshua was the Moshiach which posed a huge problem for them. Because of their rejection of Yeshua, God has rejected them: "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. Matthew 21:43 NASB 'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. Revelation 3:9 NASB Who would say there were a Jew but really were not? Yeshua is talking about national Jews who are not true Jews. Their synagogue is now a synagogue of Satan. That is strong language. I believe that the New Testament teaches that God has rejected Israel as a nation and nationally speaking God is finished with Israel. Now this poses a problem; what about all the promises that God made to Israel? Has God gone back on His promises? No, He has not and Romans 9-11 demonstrates this. Yahweh is the covenant keeping God. But His promises have been misunderstood, they were never to all within the nation, but to the elect remnant. Most Christians today believe that Romans 11 is a proof text that God is going to restore national Israel. Newell writes, “The Eleventh of Romans should at once and forever turn us away from the presumptuous assertions of those who teach that God is through with national Israel.” Those who hold to a dispensational position argue for Israel’s continuation in the plan of God. Dispensationalism teaches that as part of the events leading to the millennium, ethnic Israel must return to and be established in the Holy land.
  5. 5. Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, "I cannot understand how you theologians and preachers can apply to the church--or multiplicity of churches—Scripture promises which, in their plain meaning apply to God's chosen people, Israel, and to Palestine; and which consequently must be still future. The prophetic books are full of teachings, which, if they are interpreted literally, would be inspiring, and a magnificent assurance of a great and glorious future; but which, as they are spiritualized, becomes farcical--as applied to the church they are a comedy." I would have to say that Stevenson didn’t know the Scriptures very well when he says, "I cannot understand how you theologians and preachers can apply to the church--or multiplicity of churches— Scripture promises which, in their plain meaning apply to God's chosen people, Israel, and to Palestine; and which consequently must be still future.” Well let me explain how I can apply scripture promises given to Israel to the Church. We just looked as Revelation 3:9 where Yeshua calls the Jews a synagogue of Satan. He was quoting from Isaiah 60 which says: "And the sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 60:14 NASB Who is Isaiah writing to? Isaiah 1:1 says, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” That is who he is talking to in Isaiah 60:14 it is Israelites. If we were Old Covenant Jews, we would understand this prophecy of Isaiah as our Gentile enemies being subservient to us. And the dispensationalist sees this as some thing that will be fulfilled in national Israel in the future. But Yeshua uses this verse, which was given to national Israel and applies it to the Church, that is true Israel, and it is Old Covenant Israel that is persecuting the Church. Yeshua said that the Old Covenant Jews were going to come and bow before the feet of the Church, the true Israel of God. And that is the hermeneutic by which we can apply the promises of Israel to the Church. Tom Constable writes: “This chapter proves that God has a future for ethnic Israel, the racial descendants of Jacob. That future is distinct from the future of the church that true believers of both Jewish and Gentile races living now compose. Romans 11 not only vindicates God but dispensational theology.” John MacArthur writes: “For if Israel went out of existence there would be no way for God to fulfill His covenants. And so God has caused perpetuity in the Jewish stock. He has caused those people to outlive all other peoples contemporaneous with them in ancient times. They are a phenomenon. They are not God's ancient people Israel, they are God's present people and God's future people to whom He must fulfill His covenants, He must fulfill His promises therefore He must maintain their existence. God has a plan for Israel. His character depends on it. His integrity depends on it. His trustworthiness and faithfulness depend on it.” So MacArthur says of the Jewish race, “He must fulfill His promises therefore He must maintain their existence.” But the Encyclopedia Brittanica (1973) says, "The Jews As A Race: The findings of physical anthropology show that, contrary to the popular view, there is no Jewish race. Anthropometric measurements of Jewish groups in many parts of the world indicate that they differ greatly from one another with respect to all the important physical characteristics." (vol. 12, page 1054) Encyclopedia Judaica Jerusalem (1971) states: "It is a common assumption, and one that sometimes seems ineradicable even in the face of
  6. 6. evidence to the contrary, that the Jews of today constitute a race, a homogeneous entity easily recognizable. The diversity of the racial and genetic attributes of various Jewish colonies of today renders any unified racial classification of them a contradiction in terms. Despite this, many people readily accept the notion that they are a distinct race.” So anthropologists say there is not a Jewish race today, but dispensationalists say there is. Well let’s work our way through this chapter and see what it is that it teaches. Chapter 11 subdivides into 11:1-10 and 11:11-32. 11:1-10 says, Can any Jews be saved? And Paul’s answer is, Yes! Then in 11:11-32, Can any more Jews be saved? And again Paul says, Yes! Before we begin chapter 11, let me remind you of how chapter 10 ended: But as for Israel He says, "ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE." Romans 10:21 NASB This is a quote from Isaiah 65. Paul is using this quote to say that, all the prophecies and all the fulfillments and all the Gospel that Israel heard was not believed by most of them. And Paul is saying in verse 21, “Israel is without excuse for her unbelief.” It is not so much a matter of ignorance, but of obstinance. Because he had quoted from the prophets who speak about Yahweh bringing Gentiles into a special covenant relationship (e.g., Isa 10:20), Paul feared that some of the Gentile believers in Rome might think they had replaced the Jews as the covenant community. If Yahweh could abandon his covenant with the Jewish people, he could not be trusted — and Christian confidence in him would be undermined. So Paul continues to show that Yahweh has not forsaken His people or His promises. I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. Romans 11:1 NASB “I say then” — seems to reach back not just to 10:21 but to all of 9:30 — 10:21, which shows that Israel refused to believe in Yeshua. The opening question carries on the diatribe rhetorical style, “God has not rejected His people, has He?”— Paul answers, May it never be! — this is the strongest negative in the Greek language, "No, no, no, no, never, no way, impossible, absolutely absurd! Whenever this phrase is used in Romans, it always means that is a false conclusion based upon a correct premise. The premise is: Yahweh has rejected the nation Israel. The conclusion is Yahweh has cast away His people. Though the premise is correct the conclusion is wrong. Who are “His people?” — it's in verse 1, it's used again in verse 2. It has the idea of possession. They are a people of His own. They are a people that He called, a people that He predetermined to love, a people that He chose and He has not changed His mind. So who are “His people”? Is it the nation Israel? Many say that it is, but I think it is a reference to the remnant within the nation Israel. Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD SHALL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED in everything He says to you. 23 'And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.' Acts 3:22-23 NASB Here Peter says that those within national Israel who don’t listen to Moses and believe in Yeshua shall be cut off from “the people”. If you reject the Messiah, you will no longer be "the people." Peter is saying that from here on, and he is saying this right after Pentecost, so from here on ONLY those who follow Yeshua are "the people." All those who reject Him are the enemies of God and will be judged. Here is a clear indication that the coming of Yeshua will result in a new Israel arising out of the old,
  7. 7. from which all who reject Him will be cut off. This new Israel will be the nation to whom God will give what the old nation has forfeited (Matthew 21:43). A new nation will be formed with the Christ rejecters cast off. So I am saying that “His people” is not a reference to the nation Israel as a whole, but to the remnant, the elect, within the nation. Paul uses himself as proof of his premise: “For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” — it seems that Paul uses “descendant of Abraham” and “tribe of Benjamin” to emphasize that he was truly descended from ethnic Israel. Paul himself was a forceful argument against any claim that God had rejected the nation Israel. Paul was a believing Israelite. The unbelief of Israel, their rejection of Christ, their hatred of the gospel was never more demonstrated than by Paul. He had adamantly rejected the gospel and was guilty not only of persecution, but of shedding the blood of innocent saints. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Acts 8:3 NASB Before he met the risen Lord when he was on the way to Damascus to arrest followers of Yeshua, he hated everything about what he knew concerning the new sect known as the Way (Acts 19:23). His encounter with the Living Lord changed everything. Paul came to see that Yeshua did not destroy his Jewish faith, he fulfilled it. Paul could say, "I am an Israelite. God has not forsaken me therefore God has not forsaken all the Israelites." Let’s put it in a syllogism: Major premise: Paul is an Israelite Minor premise: God had not rejected Paul. Conclusion: God has not rejected all Israelites. In being converted to the Lord Yeshua Ha'Moshiach, Paul was living proof that God had not set aside Israel totally. Was the fact that Paul was saved proof that God loved all Israelites? Will the syllogism work if we change the word “all” in the conclusion to “any” Israelites? No! Most Israelites in Paul’s day had been set aside as we see in verse: What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; Romans 11:7 NASB Now God has always had a faithful group of people in His nation. It's never been the whole nation. We saw that so clearly in the ninth chapter. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; Romans 9:6 NASB I can’t emphasize how important this verse is, we must understand this. This verse is the key to understanding Israel and the promises of God. “They are not all Israel who are descended from Israel”—there are two Israels! The purpose of this distinction is to show that the covenant promises of God did not have respect to Israel after the flesh, not to all physical Israelites, but to true Israel; which is Yeshua Ha'Moshiach and all who trust in Him. Therefore, the unbelief and rejection of ethnic Israel as a whole in no way interfered with the fulfilment of God’s covenant
  8. 8. purpose and promise. nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." Romans 9:7 NASB In other words, it's always been selective. It wasn't all the children of Abraham. Not the children of Ishmael but the children of Isaac. That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. Romans 9:8 NASB The children of promise are true Israelites, they are the believing remnant within national Israel. Paul argues that God's saving word of promise has not fallen because it only refers to those who are truly Israel by promise and election not just by physical birth. And then he goes to the Jacob and Esau illustration. Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED." Romans 9:13 NASB It wasn't the children of Esau but the children of Jacob. So it never was all those out of the loins of Abraham, it was always selective. Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; Romans 9:27 NASB Paul is quoting Isaiah 10:22, which testifies of the rejection of the great body of the Jews, and of the election of a small number among them. This is the proposition with which Paul began, “They are not all Israel which are of Israel.” Isaiah predicts that due to the Assyrian invasion, Israel will be greatly reduced in number, only a remnant would return. The word “remnant” means, that which is left. A carpet remnant is a small piece of the whole. This Scripture demonstrates that God’s promises do not pertain to the mass of Israel but are fulfilled in the remnant. Please hang on to what Paul says here, you will need later, “it is the remnant that will be saved.” Not every Israelite, but only a remnant! Do you remember what Paul said back in chapter 2 of Romans? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. Romans 2:28-29 NASB Here he says that a true Jew is one who is a Jew inwardly, whose heart is circumcised. So we say then that God has not rejected His people. It's always been a remnant. And there was a remnant at the time of Christ that believed in Him. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? Romans 11:2 NASB The phrase “His people” reminds us of the promises Yahweh made to His people, and Paul quotes here from those promises: "For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because
  9. 9. the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 1 Samuel 12:22 NASB For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance. Psalms 94:14 NASB Notice that Paul changes the verb tense from “will not” to “has not”. In Samuel the people have abandoned the theocratic rule of God by asking for a king. In 1 Samuel 12 the sins of Israel are rehearsed, but Samuel assures them that Yahweh has not forsaken His people. And in Paul’s situation Israel has sinned by rejecting Yeshua, but Yahweh has not forsaken His people. “Rejected” — is from the Greek apotheomai, it means, to push away from oneself, to repudiate, to reject. So God has not pushed away or rejected His own called people whom He predetermined to love. The word "foreknew" is from the Greek word proginosko. The background of the term must be located in the Hebrew Scriptures, where for God “to know” refers not to simple knowledge, but to covenantal love: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5 NASB This text is not saying that God foresaw that Jeremiah would be a prophet, but that God chose him to be a prophet before he was born. In Amos 3 :2 God says to Israel: Only you I have known of all families of the land, Therefore I charge on you all your iniquities. Amos 3:2 YLT "Only you have I known of all families of the land" — does that mean that God had no knowledge of Canaanites or Egyptians or Assyrians? NO! It meant that He had a special love relationship with Israel. Israel was His chosen nation. To foreknow a person is to enter into intimate relationship with them, and choose them. Foreknowledge or knowledge is a Hebraic term, which has to do with intimacy: For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish. Psalms 1:6 NASB Didn’t God know the way of the wicked also? Yes, He did, but here “knows” has the idea of loves. This is a Hebrew parallelism, God loves the righteous, but the wicked will perish: "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' Matthew 7:23 NASB God knows everything, He is omniscient! Here it is saying, I never loved you. When we see the word “foreknew” in the Bible, we really have a word of divine election. We are not to think of this in the way that it is popularly thought of, as if God looked down through the years and saw who would believe and then chose them. The choice then is not God's, the choice is man's. God would be gaining in knowledge, and he's omniscient eternally. Think of this for a moment, if "whom he foreknew" means whom he foreknew would believe there is no problem. No one would ever ask the question, "Has God cast away his people." If he has
  10. 10. foreknown them, he foreknows that they will believe. That's no problem. The problem arises when we think of divine election. He has elected a people, but these people are today in apostasy. Then what about the election, that is a problem. And so the apostle says, "God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew." He set his heart upon them in divine love and chose them, is the force of that word. To further explain HOW it was that God has not rejected His people Israel, he gives an important historical example. The northern kingdom of Israel had fallen into apostasy. It was so severe that Elijah the prophet felt totally alone among them. "Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE." Romans 11:3 NASB Now the reference here is to 1 Kings 19. These were dark days in Israel, apostasy had taken over. I mean, rampant apostasy in the land. Ahab was the king of Israel. He was a wretched king. He did evil in the sight of God. And he married this wicked Baal worshiping priestess by the name of Jezebel. Now Elijah became the focal point of Jezebel's anger and hatred because he represented God. Elijah wanted to call the country back to God and so he said, "Look, you're all out there worshiping Baal and I want to have a contest." And so he calls for a confrontation of the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of idols and they come up to Mount Carmel. They were to kill an ox and lay it on the wood: "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people said, "That is a good idea." 1 Kings 18:24 NASB So the prophets of Baal called out to god and cut themselves as Elijah mocked them. Then when it was Elijah’s turn he had everything soaked with water and then He called on Yahweh and fire came down, burned up the water, burned up the altar, burned up the sacrifice and everything in sight. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God." Then Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape." So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 1 Kings 18:39-40 NASB Wow, this was an incredible victory. But notice what happens next. Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 1 Kings 19:13 NASB He came and sat under a Juniper tree, he's way out in the desert and he requested that he should die. He said, "I've had it, it's enough. Take my life, just get me out of here." Elijah was a very depressed guy. So God provides him with food to eat, and then he goes to Horeb, the mountain of God. Once there, he goes in a cave and God said to him "What are you doing here, Elijah?" And Elijah’s response is what
  11. 11. Paul quotes in 11:3, He said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 1 Kings 19:10 NASB What was the answer of God to him? But what is the divine response to him? "I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL." Romans 11:4 NASB The words "divine response" are very interesting. It's a very unusual word. The word is chrematismos and it basically means a divine oracle so that it's not just an answer that a man could give, it's a divine answer. So what was the divine word of God? What was the authoritative revelation of God? Yahweh had seven thousand men, His remnant, who had not worshiped Baal. Elijah thought he was the only person left in the nation that was true to God. And God says not so, there are seven thousand men who are worshipers of Yahweh that have not gone into apostasy and idol worship. Even though Israel had rejected Yahweh, He had “kept” for Himself seven thousand who had not given themselves to idolatry. The word “kept” intensifies the divine action. Yahweh did the keeping. Schreiner writes, “What receives prominence here is the verbal phrase, “I have left to myself” in which God’s action is the decisive reason that a remnant is preserved.” These seven thousand did not initiate belonging to the Lord, Yahweh did. To amplify, the Lord said that He kept these seven thousand “for Myself.” In other words, for His glory, for His purpose, for His honor, for His delight, God kept these seven thousand from among the hundreds of thousands in Israel whose hearts were hardened and who were given to idolatry. The point Paul is making is that even during one of the worst periods of apostasy in Israel’s history, Yahweh had still preserved a remnant for himself who remained faithful to Him and His covenant. It was a time of famine, so the pressure for the Israelites to worship Baal — the god of fertility — must have been immense. Yet despite that it had not rained for three and a half years, seven thousand refused to bow the knee to Baal. The drought was Yahweh’s judgment on the sinfulness of Israel, and only when she responded in repentance was the judgment lifted. In Elijah's time Yahweh had a remnant. In Isaiah's time Yahweh had a remnant. In the captivity when they were in Babylon, there was a small remnant. The remnant was people like Daniel, like Ezekiel, like Shadrach, like Meshach, like Abednego, like Mordecai, like Esther, they were part of the remnant in captivity while the rest of the people were rejecting the truth of God. And when they returned to the land, a remnant returned under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. In Malachi's time, there was a remnant and that remnant sought to have their names written in God's book of remembrance, Malachi 3:16 says Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. Malachi 3:16 NASB And when Yeshua came, the whole nation of Israel was apostate, but He had His remnant. And His remnant was John the Baptist and his followers. And His remnant was Anna. And His remnant was Simeon. And those who looked for the redemption of Jerusalem. There was always a remnant. And in Paul's time there was a remnant, look at verse 5:
  12. 12. In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice. Romans 11:5 NASB In Paul’s day there was a remnant. Yahweh has not and never will reject His people. His people are all who are trusting in Yeshua alone for their salvation. It is those who realize that salvation is all a work of Yeshua. And they rest in what He has done for them. It is all of grace. And grace is Yahweh’s work. This should cause us all to break out in song, Oh to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be. We will pick it up with verse 5 next week. A Chosen Remnant - Part 2 Romans 11:5-10 Delivered 05/13/2012 We are continuing our study of Romans 11 this morning. But before we get into it I want to share with you a quote from a letter I received this week. If you have been listening to me for a while you know that I occasionally harp on you to read your Bible through every year. I have had people come to me at a conference or write me and tell me that I challenged them to read through their Bible in a year. I have never had any one say to me, Reading through the Bible in a year was a waste of time, I got nothing out of it. They always tell me what a blessing it has been. I met a couple at our Spring Conference, Robert and Sunny, who challenged and convicted me, because they had taken my challenge to the nth degree. Sunny had read through her Bible 9 times in a year and a half. And she was so excited about what she was learning she could hardly contain herself. They told me at the conference that they were working on a program of reading that would take them through the Bible every 30 days. That’s about 40 chapters a day, about an hour to an and a half to two hours a day. Here is a quote from a letter they sent me this week. "We are 8 days into our new goal of reading the Bible through every 30 days. (This would mean they have read a fourth of the Bible, or 96 days worth of a one year program) It’s awesome and so rewarding. If people only knew what reading the Bible would do for them I fear we wouldn’t be able to afford one!" Robert. That is powerful, convicting and encouraging. Let’s dismiss, I can’t improve on that! Okay, let’s get into Romans 11. I said last week that this chapter is a dispensational strong hold. Dispensational theology teaches that as part of the events leading toward the millennium, ethnic Israel must return to and be established in the Holy Land. Romans 11 is seen as the critical text in predicting the eventual salvation that will follow. Ray Steadman writes, "Anyone who teaches that the church has now inherited all the promises of Israel had better take a second look at the Scriptures, especially the eleventh chapter of Romans." John MacArthur writes, "No doubt the Jews in Old Testament times and the Jews in New Testament times understood that the promises existed would be fulfilled literally. They understood that there would be a real Kingdom and real blessing and real possession of the holy land." "But as I said, for now they're rejected. As Jesus said in Matthew 23:38, "Your house is left
  13. 13. unto you desolate." But the day will come when Israel will be brought back. And that's the message of Romans 11." Bob Deffinbaugh writes, "God had made promises concerning the nation Israel as a whole. What of these promises? Were they not to be honored? Are we to conclude, as some theologians teach, that God has no program for Israel as a nation, distinct from the church?" Of all the things which dispensationalism teaches, the fundamental teaching of the system is that there is a distinction between Israel and the Church. According to dispensationalism, God has two differing peoples, who each respectively have differing covenant promises, different destinies and different purposes. Membership in Israel is by natural birth. One enters the church by supernatural birth. Dispensationalists view Israel and the church as having distinct eternal destinies. Israel will receive an eternal earthly Kingdom, and the church an eternal heavenly Kingdom. What I believe and teach is that the "true Israel" is the Israel of faith, not birth; Israel is spiritual, not natural. This view has been called "replacement theology"—it is said that the Church replaced Israel. But a much better term would be "fulfillment theology"—the promises Yahweh made to Old Covenant Israel are "fulfilled" in the Church of Yeshua Ha'Moshiach, which is true Israel. Covenant, not race, has always been the defining mark of the true Israel. This view of "fulfillment theology" presents a major problem for Dispensational theology because they teach that there is a distinction between Israel and the Church. That Israel and the Church are not distinct can be seen in the fact that the promises given to Israel are received by the Church. "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, Jeremiah 31:31 NASB What is promised here? A New Covenant. Who is this New Covenant promised to? The house of Israel and the house of Judah! Anyone disagree with that? No, Good. Then let me ask you this, what covenant is the Church under? Writing to the Church that was in Corinth, Paul said: who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6 NASB What is the Lord’s Supper a symbol of? The New Covenant: In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 1 Corinthians 11:25 NASB The New Covenant is particularly problematic for the Dispensationalist, as Jeremiah 31 is undeniably addressed to Israel. The New Covenant is the very heart of the Gospel, yet, if the Church is fulfilling the promise given to Israel under the New Covenant, Dispensationalism has some serious problems. Let me give you just one more: "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old; Amos 9:11 NASB Amos is speaking to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, This text speaks of God's judgment and destruction of Israel, which is not complete, and which is not permanent. He promised to return and to restore Israel, rebuilding it as in the days of old. The dispensationalist in their wooden literal
  14. 14. hermeneutic look for this to physically happen to Israel. But now let’s go to the New Testament, anyone know where this is quoted? 'AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, Acts 15:16 NASB James is saying that Peters account of Gentiles being saved is a fulfillment of this prophecy of Amos. James was saying that the Messianic Kingdom had come, and Amos' prediction was completely fulfilled in the Church. Who was the promise of Amos 9:11, "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David" made to? Amos was writing to Israel, the Ten Northern tribes. And yet James is saying that this prophecy is being fulfilled in the Church. I believe that the Bible teaches the essential continuity of Israel and the Church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people—true Israel, with one Savior, one destiny. Apart from the New Covenant truth, we would no doubt view these prophesies of restoration as physical; God restoring, redeeming national Israel. But the New Testament writers give us the true meaning of these verses. Let’s go to Romans 11. Chapter 11 subdivides into 11:1-10 and 11-32. 11:1-10 asks, Can any Jews be saved? And Paul’s answer is, Yes! Then 11:11-32 asks, Can any more Jews be saved? And again Paul says, Yes! I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. Romans 11:1 NASB Who are "His people?" — Is it the nation Israel? Many say that it is but I think it is a reference to the remnant within the nation Israel. Paul himself was a forceful argument against any claim that God had rejected the nation Israel. Paul was a believing Israelite. This does NOT say, God has not rejected national Israel, has He? No, it does not. It says He has not rejected "His people". His people is not synonymous with national Israel, but refers to the remnant within national Israel. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? Romans 11:2 NASB When we see the word "foreknew" in the Bible, we really have a word of divine election. Yahweh set his heart upon them in divine love and chose them, is the force of that word. To further explain that God has not rejected His people called Israel, he gives an important historical example. "Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE." But what is the divine response to him? "I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL." Romans 11:3-4 NASB Paul is quoting here from 1 Kings 19. Elijah thought he was the only man of God left in Israel. God corrected him, telling Elijah there were 7,000 followers of God in Israel. That is a lot more than one. Yet 7,000, even if Israel then numbered only 700,000, would only be one percent of the population.
  15. 15. That’s a small group. The point Paul is making is that even during one of the worst periods of apostasy in Israel’s history, Yahweh had still preserved a remnant for Himself. Yahweh always has His remnant. Some times the remnant was very small as in the time of Noah, when the remnant was how many? Eight people. Yahweh always has his remnant. In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice. Romans 11:5 NASB Paul says, "In the same way"—applying verses 3-4 to his present day. The words addressed to Elijah are typical of the way God works. "At the present time"—is at the time of Paul’s writing, not today. This is not written to us but to first century Roman believers. "Remnant"—is from the Greek word leimma which means, the remainder. This word is only used here in the New Testament. Jewish remnant theology taught that Israel was being narrowed down to a point and the remnant are the few who remain after the rest have left. It was the remnant for who Torah still works as a covenant of national pride. Paul’s remnant is a remnant chosen by grace. When Paul says there is a remnant, he means a remnant of Israel. A person can be part of national Israel, and yet not be part of remnant Israel. As Paul said in 9:6, "For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel." There is an Israel within Israel, a subset of physical-and-spiritual Jewish people (remnant Israel) among the group of physically Jewish people (national Israel). In seeing the Jews who believed in Yeshua as a remnant, Paul is making a comparison with the remnant that refused to worship Baal. The logical conclusion of Paul’s argument is that he considers Judaism to be a pagan religion akin to Baal worship—a concept that would have horrified the orthodox Jews. Judaism is a religious system that has rejected the Messiah. In so doing she has become nothing less than pagan. "Remnant according to God's gracious choice"—is literally: "according to the election of grace." This phrase sheds light back onto the work of God in Elijah's day. Paul says, God kept seven thousand men for himself in those days, and in the same way (houtos) there is a remnant "chosen by grace." So "chosen by grace" is what Paul saw when he looked at the sovereign work of God in Elijah's day. If it was God who caused them to be a faithful remnant, then God had chosen them. The word "choice" is the Greek word ekloge, which means, divine selection, election, chosen. The remnant are saved not because they chose God but because Yahweh chose them and they responded in faith. They are saved because Yahweh elected them. This is not an election of honor, or an election of reward, but the election of grace. The word "gracious" is the Greek word charis which means: "unmerited favor, or kindness shown to one who is utterly undeserving." God predetermined before the foundation of the world to choose some Israelites on which to set His saving love and His saving blessing which would be His remnant. And so they are elect according to His grace, not of works lest any man should boast. And salvation is as always the election of grace. Paul has been hammering this all through Romans: being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; Romans 3:24 NASB "Gift" is from the Greek word dorean, which means: "for nothing, gratuitously, or gift-wise." In the phrase "as a gift by His grace", the idea of "free" is redoubled to show that our justification is all of God.
  16. 16. Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. Romans 4:4 NASB In other words, if you work for somebody, you don't get grace, you get wages. If you work for someone, what you bring about is not grace, but debt. They owe you wages. This is why it's an abomination to try to work for God. God cannot be put in anyone's debt. To live by grace is to recognize that in myself I bring nothing of worth to my relationship with God. All of the Christian life is a matter of grace. We are brought into God’s eternal kingdom by grace; we are justified by grace; we are motivated to obedience by grace; we receive strength to live the Christian life by grace; and we receive both temporal and spiritual blessings by grace. The entire Christian life is lived by grace. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, Romans 5:20 NASB When he says, "Where the sin increased," he uses a word that speaks of addition. But when he says "Grace abounded," he uses a word that means multiplication. The word "increased" is pleonazo, which means: "to increase." But the word "abound" is huperperisseuo, which means: "to super abound, to abound beyond measure." Where the sin increased, the grace super abounded. What grace has done is not merely to counteract exactly what sin has done. If the effect of grace had merely been to wipe out and to cancel all that had happened on the other side, we would have had reason to praise God through all eternity. But grace super abounds. It not only cancels our debt, it gives us the righteousness of God. And so, Paul has been saying all along, salvation by grace, salvation by grace. And that is true in the case of the remnant as well. And Paul who was a member of that remnant gives his own testimony. He says, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 2 Timothy 1:9 NASB Just to make sure we understand what he means by grace he says: But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Romans 11:6 NASB The KJV adds the words, "But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." These words are not found in the better Greek manuscripts. A scribe, no doubt in the early days, copying the manuscript of the Epistle to the Romans, added this by way of an explanation. Now notice that Paul does not contrast works and faith in this text, as he does elsewhere (e.g., Romans 3:28; 9:32). So the contrast is not between two kinds of human activity: faith and works. The contrast is between divine activity (grace) and human activity (works). The point is that if election is based on anything we do, it is not longer grace. If we provide the decisive act in causing our election, it is no longer an "election of grace." but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, Romans 9:31-32 NASB
  17. 17. They pursued the law as though it didn’t bring the knowledge of sin and stop every mouth and make everyone guilty before God, but as though it were really possible to provide themselves with righteousness by keeping the commandments. They viewed their obedience to the law as the means to produce righteousness. And works and grace are mutually exclusive. Grace is God acting on our behalf. Nothing motivates Him to do this other than His own kindness and purpose. Nothing in us, no actions on our behalf, not even foreseen faith motivates God, otherwise then it cannot be attributed to grace. His choice has nothing to do with the will of man. Again, Paul leveled this argument that is so common in our day, in: So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. Romans 9:16 NASB Just think of it for a moment: What meaning could it have for election to be gracious if it depended on our decisive initiative? If God watches (even ahead of time in eternity with his foreknowledge) and waits, as it were, for us to act, and then in response to that self-generated act, he chooses us, then we are not "chosen by divine grace;" we are chosen by a decisive human act. God would simply be a responder. We would determine his action. And grace would no longer be grace. for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, Romans 9:11 NASB The reason for calling Jacob before they were born or had done anything good or evil is so that God's purpose according to election might stand. Election would not be free if it were based on what Jacob did. And grace would no longer be grace. Believer, understanding that your salvation is all of grace should greatly humble you. You were dead in sin, blind, rebellious. And then, by grace alone, you were awakened to the beauty of Christ crucified for sinners. And, by grace alone, you believed. And when asked, Why are you saved and others are not. Your answer is not, I’m smarter, or it’s not even I believed and they didn’t. Your answer with tears streaming down your face is, because of the gracious choice of my loving God. What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; Romans 11:7 NASB Notice that it doesn’t say, "What ‘His people’ are seeking, they have not obtained." His people are the "chosen" and they have obtained it. But Israel has not. The word "seeking" is from the Greek word epizeteo. It is much more emphatic than our translation intimates, denoting that they: "set themselves to seek" or "seek with all their might."And the present tense by the way indicates the constancy of their effort. What was Israel seeking? but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Romans 9:31 NASB Israel pursued righteousness, covenant membership, but they never arrived at it because they sought it by works. The ones who were chosen obtained it. Now may I remind you that here the word "chosen" or
  18. 18. "election" doesn't have reference to the theocratic nation of Israel, nor does it have reference to the kingdom of Israel as a nation, it has reference to the believing Jews, the individual Jews chosen out of the nation. Who did the choosing? The word allows no room for human choosing. The passive voice indicates that it was not the one obtaining that did the choosing but One chose him so that he might obtain. The Lord God did the choosing. That’s what’s involved in election. Let’s look at this from an eschatological sense for a minute. The majority of Israel had not obtained what they were seeking. What was it that Israel was seeking? The kingdom? The resurrection? Salvation? Redemption? Sure, all of these things. Now notice carefully what Paul says, "But the chosen obtained it!" — The elect obtained what Israel was looking for! But there were none of the elect ruling in Jerusalem on a physical throne. There was obviously no physical aspect to what they obtained, but what they obtained was what Israel was seeking. The promise to Israel was being fulfilled in the remnant and it was to be consummated quickly: Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY." Romans 9:27-28 NASB The full arrival of whatever it was the elect was receiving was about to arrive "quickly". All the promises of God to Israel were being fulfilled in the remnant. And in Paul’s day the remnant was receiving what Israel sought after. What was it that the remnant was receiving? Salvation in Yeshua! They were not receiving a physical kingdom, or racial superiority, or a physical redemption. What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; Romans 11:7 NASB "Hardened"—is from the Greek poroo which means, "to petrify." The form of it indicates that they were hardened by some outside power, some outside force. And that force is none other than God Himself. They were hardened by God. You say, "Does God harden people?" Well do you remember chapter 9 verse 18: So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. Romans 9:18 NASB Paul didn’t say, The believers obtained it, but the rest refused to believe. He could have said that, it would have been true. How easily he could have avoided the issue of God's election and hardening, just like most people avoid it today. Here Paul takes up the issue of reprobation: God passing over the non-elect and hardening them as a judicial act so that they justly face the wrath of God. There is some debate, and rightly so, that some acts of hardening are partial and temporary, as God in mercy again grafts in unbelievers—both Jews and Gentiles (e.g. 11:17-31). But that is not the focus of these verses. Here Paul deals with those not elected by grace but instead, left to their own desires and sins. The text does not indicate that they were hardened because of unbelief but instead that the hardening produced unbelief. Hardened is a divine passive, it is God who is the agent of the hardening . God has not rejected "His people" because He has always had a remnant. But He has rejected those whom He has hardened. Just as "were chosen" is a theological or divine passive so also is "were hardened." In other words, it is the
  19. 19. Lord who chooses and the Lord who hardens. God gives mercy to the elect by working faith in their hearts. He gives justice to the reprobate by hardening them in their own sins. One group receives mercy, the other receives justice. No one is a victim of injustice. Tom Holland says this about hardened, "This was the description of the condition of Pharaoh’s heart (Exod 8:32; 9:12) as he sought to stop the Jews from leaving Egypt for the promised land. Paul is in effect saying that in the early years of the Christian church’s pilgrimage, the one who now plays the role of Pharaoh is unredeemed Israel. She is seeking to prevent the people of God from leaving the kingdom of darkness to follow the Davidic Messiah on his triumphant march to the promised land. To suggest such a startling reversal of roles would have left any orthodox Jew appalled." Paul backs up the fact that they are hardened with the Hebrew Scriptures: just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY." Romans 11:8 NASB This comes from two different First Testament verses that are combined. The first half of the verse comes from Isaiah 29:10: For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers. Isaiah 29:10 NASB The second half of the verse comes from Deuteronomy 29:4: "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. Deuteronomy 29:4 NASB Deuteronomy has Moses looking sorrowfully at Israel and seeing nothing but rebellion. And Isaiah 29 is closely related to one of the most quoted words of judgment from that prophet, 6:9-10. So he takes a passage from Moses and a passage from Isaiah, which is the law and prophets. And these two are combined under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit here to indicate that Yahweh Himself has withheld spiritual understanding from His people. What did the Jews call the First Testament? They called it the Tanakh, which is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. The acronym is based on the initial Hebrew letters of each of the text's three parts: 1.Torah, meaning "Instruction"- "The five books of Moses," also called the "Pentateuch". 2. Nevi'im, meaning "Prophets." 3. Ketuvim, meaning "Writings" or "Hagiographa". So in this text Paul cites a text from the Law, he cites a text from the Prophets, and then finally from the writings, the three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures. And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. Romans 11:9 NASB Here he quotes Psalm 69. Paul sees Psalm 69 as fulfilled in the life and situation of Yeshua. David writes it and the final Son of David fulfills it. So in Psalm 69:9 David says, "Zeal for your house has consumed me," and John 2:12 applies that to Yeshua as he cleansed the temple. The psalm says, "The reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me" (69:9) and Paul quotes this in Romans 15:3 to refer to Christ. The psalm says, "They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink" (69:21), and Luke 23:36 applies this to Yeshua as he was offered sour wine on the cross.
  20. 20. Psalm 69 is one of the most marvelous Messianic Psalms. Along with Psalm 22 they are the two most quoted Psalms in speaking about the suffering of the Savior. Psalm 69 is what we call imprecatory, it prays for judgment to fall on the enemies of Yahweh. It is a Psalm that is zealous for the holiness of Yahweh. It is a Psalm that calls down judgment on those who reject Yahweh, those who deny Yahweh His rightful worship. "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP"—that's a remarkable statement, because it means that the very thing that ought to be a blessing, the place where the sacrifices were made has been made a snare. He may be suggesting through the use of "their table" that the Jewish sacrificial system has become a snare and a trap, preventing the Jews from seeing their need for Christ’s death. The word "retribution" implies that punishment of wrong is involved, somewhere along the way, in the hardening. The point is they deserved the snare and trap and stumbling that they experienced. "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER." Romans 11:10 NASB David’s prayer was for Yahweh to exact vengeance on his enemies, but Paul applies it to the Jews. "Bend their backs forever"—as in those held captive, bent under the burden of their captivity. Paul does not misuse the passage as those who sought to overthrow David were members of his own family. To reject Yeshua, therefore, is to reject David and the covenant made with him (2 Sam 7.5-16). It is entirely appropriate to apply David’s cry in Ps 69:22-28 to the Jews of Paul’s day, for they persecuted their own countrymen who had turned to the Son of David for salvation. What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; Romans 11:7 NASB Israel, national physical Israel has not obtained, but the chosen remnant obtained it, and the rest of national physical Israel were hardened. These words should make us tremble and thank Yahweh for His marvelous grace. It is only by grace that we have obtained salvation in Yeshua. http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/romans_new/11_05-10.htm

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