25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is[b] my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
“I want you to understand this mystery….” Ok, I’m intrigued. What is this mystery that Paul wants me to understand? Whatever it is, at least Paul says I can understand it.
So, Paul says, once we were the rebels, now we are not. Once Israel were not the rebels, now they are, and this benefits us but God still loves them. Ok, unless you know the bible and the history of Israel and God’s plan of salvation for all mankind, this talk of rebels can be confusing.
But Paul then says something that makes perfect sense, he says how it is impossible for us to understand God’s decisions. Sometimes, honestly, God is hard to understand. That’s why we must live by faith, and trust him always.
Who knows the thoughts of the Lord? Who knows enough to give God advice? (no one). For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. That’s all I need to understand. Yes, it’s a mystery still. But in my doubt, confusion and questions, ALL is intended for his glory, not mine. Remember the opening words of the Purpose Driven Life, it’s not about me. It is about God.
Lord, teach me to live by faith, to trust your ways and plans for my life.
Written by Andrew Martin