God is called the God of Israel (Psalm 72:18), but many of Israelís people do not believe him. By their attitude of unbelief, they separate themselves from the close relationship that God wants with them. Paul has compared them to a branch that a gardener cuts from a tree.
When a gardener does that, the effect is usually permanent. Without any connection to the roots, the branch soon dies. However, Paul insists that the same is not true about Israelís people. They will only be separate from God for as long as their unbelief continues. When they return to God (Zechariah 12:10 to 13:1), God will again accept them fully as his people (Isaiah chapter 62; Jeremiah 30:18-22; Ezekiel 36:24-38; Hosea 1:10).
The unbelief of many of Israelís people has given the people from other nations an opportunity to know God. It is very wonderful that God has done this for them. Paul compares them to shoots (small young branches) that a gardener joins to a tree in his garden. Those shoots then grow into strong branches because of the health and strength that they receive from the root.
However, gardeners never actually use a shoot from a wild tree for this purpose. Normally, they select the shoot from a very good tree, in order to benefit from its good qualities. A gardener cares little about wild plants; he cares about the plants in his garden. In the same way, it is only natural that Israelís God cares deeply about Israelís people. It astonishes us to see how great his love is for the people from other nations, too.
Next part: The end of Israel's troubles (Romans 11:25)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.