9 I speak the truth in Christ. I am not lying. My mind tells me that what I say is true. It is guided by the Holy Spirit. 2 My heart is full of sorrow. My sadness never ends. 3 I am so concerned about my people, who are members of my own race. I am ready to be cursed, if that would help them. I am even willing to be separated from Christ. 4 They are the people of Israel. They have been adopted as God’s children. God’s glory belongs to them. So do the covenants. They received the law. They were taught to worship in the temple. They were given the promises. 5 The founders of our nation belong to them. The Messiah comes from their family line. He is God over all. May he always be praised! Amen. God’s Free Choice 6 I do not mean that God’s word has failed. Not everyone in the family line of Israel really belongs to Israel. 7 Not everyone in Abraham’s family line is really his child. Not at all! Scripture says, “Your family line will continue through Isaac.” (Genesis 21:12) 8 In other words, God’s children are not just in the family line of Abraham. Instead, they are the children God promised to him. They are the ones considered to be Abraham’s children. 9 God promised, “I will return at the appointed time. Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:10,14) 10 And that’s not all. Rebekah’s children were born at the same time by the same father. He was our father Isaac. 11 Here is what happened. Rebekah’s twins had not even been born. They hadn’t done anything good or bad yet. So they show that God’s purpose is based firmly on his free choice. 12 It was not because of anything they did but because of God’s choice. So Rebekah was told, “The older son will serve the younger one.” (Genesis 25:23) 13 It is written, “I chose Jacob instead of Esau.” (Malachi 1:2,3) 14 What should we say then? Is God unfair? Not at all! 15 He said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy. I will show love to those I love.” (Exodus 33:19) 16 So it doesn’t depend on what people want or what they do. It depends on God’s mercy. 17 In Scripture, God says to Pharaoh, “I had a special reason for making you king. I decided to use you to show my power. I wanted my name to become known everywhere on earth.” (Exodus 9:16) 18 So God does what he wants to do. He shows mercy to one person and makes another stubborn.
Paul is heartbroken over his people Israel. He desperately wants them to wake up and see that they are separated from God and they have rejected the messiah, Jesus Christ.
We read of the depth of his love and despair when Paul says that he would rather be cursed if only he could spare his people Israel.
This is a very noble and heart-felt claim, and not one that I could honestly say that I would make. It shows how deeply burdened Paul was for his people.
I think the closest that I have ever come to feeling like that is on behalf of my children – wishing I could take their pain in order to spare them.
Fortunately for us, this kind of self-sacrifice on behalf of another is not possible nor is it necessary. There is One who has already been cursed by God in order that our friends and family might be saved.
How grateful I am today that Jesus Christ has given His life for us. It’s not up to me to save my friends and family – He has done it all, and I only need to point the way to Jesus.
Written by Shelley Witt