In verse 20, Paul repeated some words from Isaiah 65:1. Now, in verse 21, he turns to the next verse, Isaiah 65:2. These are sad words. They seem to describe a father who wants to help his child. He calls his child, but the child will not come to him. The child has firmly decided that he will not obey his father.
Paul tells us that these words are about Israel. However, he will soon explain that they are not about the whole of Israel (11:3-5). The Book of Isaiah also emphasises that fact (Isaiah 65:8-10). Even at the worst times in Israelís history, some of its people have remained loyal to God. God has chosen those people to be his people - not because of their good works, but because of his kindness (11:5-6).
However, people who do wrong and evil things on purpose can expect no kindness from God. It is evil to refuse to obey God. It is wrong and foolish to oppose or to argue against him. God is the judge of all people, and all his judgements are right and proper (Genesis 18:25).
It is particularly sad that some people in Israel were behaving in that wrong and evil way. Israel is Godís special nation, and God shows great kindness to its people (9:4-5). Israelís people had the opportunity to teach people across the world about God, and some of them did that. However, many chose instead to behave in the same evil ways that many people in other nations were doing (2:17-24).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.