For who has known the mind of the Lord

Today we are reading from Romans 11:25-35.

Did you know that sometimes it is helpful to read a passage in another translation to help you understand it.

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (esv)
25 I want you to understand this secret truth, brothers and sisters. This truth will help you understand that you don’t know everything. The truth is this: Part of Israel has been made stubborn, but that will change when enough non-Jewish people have come to God.  (erv)
 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (kjv)
 I might just be slow tonight in my thinking, but when I first read this passage my mind went totally blank.  Flipping through different passages made me think more clearly...not that I'm sure I have it all eh?   There is a mystery that's not so easily understood. 

Israel has become partially hardened to the Lord.  Now remember, GOD is the one who allows that hardening of hearts.  But the fact is this, Israel is partially hardened, blinded to the truth of who God is.  This partial hardening will lost "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in".   What this fulness of the Gentiles is I'm not sure, Haldane's commentary says it is when Gentiles really come to understand who Christ is. (or words to that effect...I think).

Why do we need to know this?
So we don't become proud or conceited thinking too much of ourselves or thinking we know it all cause we most certainly don't.  God has allowed this to be, for a season, not forever.
 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.”

And here's the reason it's allowed "and in this way all Israel will be saved".  God seeks the salvation of his first chosen people.  That's his end goal. 

28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 
We need to understand this dichotomy.   God loves the people of Israel because of their parents.  He does.  Yet at the same time... they are his enemies.  Not understanding the good news that has been shown to them. 

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 receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Oh...what odd verses these eh?   How God allows our disobedience SO THAT HE CAN SHOW US MERCY!   Imagine it!   God wants to show us mercy, oh but he does. Our disobedience allows him to show us mercy.  MIND...we know from other scripture that we don't want to joyfully or heedlessly be disobedient to God.  WE DON"T.  BUT this is, I think, talking about before we received God's mercy...before we were aware of the depth of God's mercy toward us..that mercy that called us to salvation.
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.
All in all, this passage minds of this fact.  We can't understand the ways of God.  We can't.  How could it make sense to hardened the hearts of folks, and then extend grace to others, so that those folks with hardened hearts can come to know God truly.  How does that make sense????  Seriously.  It doesn't.

Yet... He does.

So Paul asks this question " “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”The answer is pretty obvious....NO ONE.   God can't really be understood by us, he's God.  THROUGH him all are things, FROM him are all things, TO him are all things. 

All we can do is : Give him glory.  Praise him for the things he has done and is doing and will do.  That's all we can do.  We can't claim to understand him, but we can give him glory. 

What say you?
Photo used byPhoto by Todd Diemer on Unsplash

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  1. Good summary statement at the end. It really is all we can do, isn't it?


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