27 … “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
Israel’s Proud Heritage: relationship with God, the covenants, the law, temple worship, the patriarchs, and the Scripture etc. However, not all Israelites are included in the promise. Physical descent from Abraham never guaranteed an individual a right to God’s grace.
8 … In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.
God retains the right to choose and the freedom to be merciful to whomever he chooses. Scripture reveals that God chose long ago to bring salvation to Gentiles. On no count then, can God be charged with unfairness in the way he has dealt with Israel.
19 One of you will say to me:”Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
Every principle of action that he has taken in Christ is clearly laid down in the OT. The sacred history vindicates God.
Does this idea rob us of freedom to choose Christ, or of the privilege of communicating the gospel to all?
- God loves all, and does not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2Pet. 3:9)
- We receive Christ by faith, and even faith is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8,9). Yet no one believes against his will.
- God is seen throughout Scripture as sovereign. Yet man is viewed as responsible, with a truly free will.
When we deal with truths with seem to be mutually exclusive (sovereignty and free will/predestination and “whosoever will may come”) we have entered the realm of paradox. There are issues here which we simply cannot understand. We are finite and limited. Some things can only be understood and reconciled by God.
What then do we do with paradox? We remain confident that the God we know through Jesus is both fair and loving. We commit ourselves to an active life of faith, living in a responsive relationship with the Spirit who speaks to us through the Word.
And we accept the fact that there are some things about which we must say, “I do not understand. But I do trust God to know best.” (Romans 9, Ephesians 1, Isaiah 48, Job 38-41)
I do believe God is more capable than us human beings. He knows things that are beyond our comprehension. Paradox seems unsolvable to us who are confined to finite time, space and mental capacity. Not so with God.
It’s good to know that I do not have to know everything. I don’t have to be a super hero to solve humanity’s problems. Christ did. When I’m called My Beloved by God himself, that’s sufficient for me. I accept.