Paulís subject is why so many of Israelís people had not put their trust in Christ. That question matters because Israel is Godís special holy nation. God shows great kindness to Israelís people (9:4-5). However, when Christ came, Israelís people behaved like the people in other nations. Only some of them placed their trust in him, and many did not.
So, Paul tries to explain the reason. People put their trust in God when they hear his word, the Bible (10:17). So Paul next asks himself whether Israelís people had heard Godís word.
Of course they had heard it. Paul was a witness of that fact. Israelís people, also called the Jews, were living in many different countries, often with just small groups in each town. Both before (Acts 22:19) and after Paul became a Christian, he was travelling constantly between these places. In each place Paul first visited the synagogue, the building that the Jews erected for public prayer. In towns without a synagogue, Paul expected to find a place for prayer by the river (Acts 16:13).
Wherever the Jews went, they had taken the Bible with them. In every synagogue, they read from the Books of Moses (the first five books in the Bible) each week (Acts 15:21). The Psalms were their songs and their prayers (Mark 14:26; James 5:13). The words of the prophets (the holy men who received messages from God) were familiar to them. Many of them discussed these things constantly.
With a reference to Psalm 19:4, Paul compared this to the way that the skies give constant evidence of Godís greatness. God had given his perfect word to Israelís people, so that they could know him (Psalm 19:7-8; Deuteronomy 30:11-14).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.