A Remnant Remains
Israel has not been completely rejected. Paul himself is a Jew and yet he is a believer. For its first decade the early church was a Hebrew church. There were thousands upon thousands of Jewish Christians when Paul wrote his letter to the Romans. As always in history, there is a remnant that has been chosen by grace.
1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me” ? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
A Restoration Is Coming
Israel’s rejection is also temporary. God has opened the door of faith to the whole world, but he has not rejected the people who were the original branches, growing from that tree of faith which has its historic roots in God’s first great acts of self-revelation. The day is coming when Israel will be grafted back into that original vine.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. … 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Depth of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God, Unsearchable and Untraceable
Paul concludes this section with a doxology that like the words of Isaiah 40:13 and Job 41:11. God’s plan is great and complex. Its very complexity shows us the depth of the riches of his wisdom and knowledge.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
As a non-Jew, the word “engrafted” is dear to me. That means I am in. Want to spell it as “Ingrafted.” I will just think of this one word today :)! Now, what happens to the Jews, will all be saved or only some of them (7,000)? is beyond me.
A good subject to paint — wild olive shoots, engrafted.