19 One of you will say to me, “Then why does God still blame us? Who can oppose what he wants to do?” 20 But you are a mere man. So who are you to talk back to God? Scripture says, “Can what is made say to the one who made it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” (Isaiah 29:16; 45:9) 21 Isn’t the potter free to make different kinds of pots out of the same lump of clay? Some are for special purposes. Others are for ordinary use. 22 What if God chose to show his great anger? What if he chose to make his power known? That is why he put up with people he was angry with. They had been made to be destroyed. 23 What if he did that to show the riches of his glory to others? Those are the people he shows his mercy to. He had prepared them to receive his glory. 24 We are those people. He has chosen us. We do not come only from the Jewish race. Many of us are not Jews. 25 God says in Hosea, “I will call those who are not my people ‘my people.’ I will call the one who is not my loved one ‘my loved one.’” (Hosea 2:23) 26 He also says, “Once it was said to them, ‘You are not my people.’ In that very place they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” (Hosea 1:10) 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel. He says, “The number of people from Israel may be like the sand by the sea. But only a few of them will be saved. 28 The Lord will carry out his sentence. He will be quick to carry it out on earth, once and for all.” (Isaiah 10:22,23) 29 Earlier Isaiah had said, “The Lord who rules over all left us children and grandchildren. If he hadn’t, we would have become like Sodom. We would have been like Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9)
We have no right to protest at what God does. We are the creation but he is the creator. He is sovereign. This passage seems unfair to us, but we need to remember that
- God knows our hearts, and “hardening” them may mean giving us over to the hardening which some have already adopted.
- We know from elsewhere in scripture that God’s will is that all men should be saved. v 22 – 24 show that God does not choose arbitrarily but has great patience and mercy although we deserve his wrath.
Remember that Romans is written to both Jewish and Gentile believers. Here Paul outlines that Gentiles are now accepted and shows from the OT that it had always been God’s plan. He also shows that God is preserving a remnant of “True Israel” for himself.
I think our response to this passage should be profound gratefulness that God has chosen US to be given eternal life. It should also spur us on to pray for others, so that they are included too. Never let go of gratitude for being part of the Kingdom.
Written by Megan Cornell