Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 11

Right and wrong reactions when we hear God's message

Romans 11:7

Israelís people wanted a right relationship with God, and they tried hard to obtain it (9:31).

However, except for the people that God had chosen, they did not obtain it. That was because they were not trusting in God. Instead, they were trying to obtain it by their own efforts (9:31-32). They could not obey Godís law completely, and therefore the judgement of that law was against them (3:9-20). However, by his death, Christ suffered the judgement of the law. So, God forgives those people who trust Christ.

Paul refers to that particular group of people as the people whom God chose. In other words, he describes them by reference to what God did for them. They were different from other people because they were not trusting in their own efforts. Like the other people, the people whom God chose in this passage also belonged to Israel. Paul could describe people from other nations like that, but here he is writing about Israel. That is clear because Paul calls the other people in Israel Ďthe restí.

So Ďthe restí of Israel means those people in Israel who were not trusting God. They heard Godís message, but their reaction was unbelief. They were unwilling to allow God to change their lives. Instead, they wanted God to approve of how they were already living.

Psalm 95:7-8 warns us about wrong attitudes when we hear Godís word. We should receive Godís message gladly; we should believe it and we should obey it. We must not have hard hearts; in other words, we must not be unwilling to change our attitudes. Rather, we should allow Godís message to change our lives (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Next part: The people in Israel who refused God's message (Romans 11:8-10)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.