Romans 9:6-13

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Text: Romans 9:6-13

ISRAEL'S REJECTION

AND GOD'S FAITHFULNESS

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 1:16-17 we have noted the theme of Romans. It is the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.

In 1:18 - 3:20 we have seen that all people lack righteousness.

In Romans 3:21-5:21 we have seen that God has provided righteousness for all when He sent Christ to die on the cross for our sins and raised Him from the dead. It is called Justification by Faith.

In Romans 6-8 we have seen God's provision for godly living - it is called sanctification

A question arises, however: what is going to happen to Israel? Since Israel as a nation has rejected Christ as Messiah, has the nation as a whole been permanently set aside by God, i.e. forever? Paul answers their question in Romans 9-11 .

God has made certain covenant promises to the nation of Israel.

1. The Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 12:1-3 - (1) Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

2. The Mosaic Covenant (It is the same as the Mosaic law.) - Exodus 19:5-6 - (5) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (6) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Unfortunately Israel did not obey God's voice and keep His covenant.

3. The Palestinian Covenant - Deuteronomy 30:1-9

If Israel was driven from its land, the Lord would restore Israel to the land when Israel turned to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 30:1-3 - (3) And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, (2) And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; (3) That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.

4. The Davidic Covenant - II Samuel 7:16 - And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

With all these privileges which the nation of Israel has enjoyed, what is happening to Israel? Is God going to keep His word? Our text in this message indicates that His word is good. In Romans 9:6-13 we see that, although the Jews had failed, God's word has not failed.

We see that -

I. THE WORD OF GOD HAS NOT FAILED - 9:6A

Romans 9:6 a - Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. . . .

After what Paul has said in the first five verses of this chapter, one might begin to wonder whether the Word of God had had any effect on the Israelites because it appeared that Israel as a whole remained unsaved; yet, all these promises had been made to Israel.

Therefore, Paul introduces verse 6 with not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.

Not as though is not as if.

The word of God is the message of God and refers particularly to the gospel message but includes the whole counsel of God.

Hath taken none effect means has failed. It is not as if the word of God has failed in the past and continues as a failure. The word of God has not failed in the past and is not failing today.

We also see -

II. THE FIRST PROOF - 9:6-9

Romans 9:6 b-9 - (6b) . . . For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (9) For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.

The word of God has not failed in the past. The reason given for this is for they are not all Israel which are of Israel.

For introduces this reason and is understood in the sense of because.

They are can also be understood in a little more emphatic sense as these (are). It refers to which are of Israel or the ones who are of Israel.

Not all indicates that not everyone who is descended from Jacob or Israel is a spiritual or believing Israelite. Some of them were unbelievers; yet, some of them were most definitely believers.

All is not specific so that we have no way of knowing what number it represents.

Not all Israel, however, believed; yet some did.

Israel is used in the sense of spiritual Israel or Jewish believers. The true Israel is composed of saved Jews. Gentiles are not in view in this passage.

Not all Jews are saved.

Romans 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Verse 7 illustrates the principle that not all Israel are of Israel by an example from the physical realm which indicates that not all the descendants of Abraham are of the promised seed.

Neither means and not or nor.

Because they are the seed of Abraham describes are.

Being Abraham's seed (i.e. Abraham's posterity, Abraham's children, or Abraham's descendants) does not make one an Israelite in the physical sense. Arabs are descended from Abraham through Ishmael. So are the sons of Keturah whom Abraham married after the death of Sarah.

Being Abraham's seed (i.e. Abraham's posterity, Abraham's children, or Abraham's descendants) also does not make one a member of the promised seed which is attained by faith in Christ.

Are they all children - Just because they are Abraham's physical descendants does not mean that they are all children, i.e. children of promise. Although they were certainly children, some of them were not the promised seed. The reason for this is indicated by but in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to because they are the seed of Abraham (are they) all children and is to be understood in the sense of rather.

In Isaac shall thy seed be called is a quotation from Genesis 21:12 where God said it because Abraham was grieved as a result of Sarah's telling him to cast out Hagar and Ishmael. God told him, Hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Just as all the physical descendants of Abraham are not Israelites, but only those who are descended from him through Isaac, similarly all the physical descendants of Abraham are not of the spiritual seed either, but only those who have placed their trust in Christ as Savior.

Romans 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Verse 8 clarifies Paul's meaning.

The children of the flesh versus the children of the promise in the physical realm

Ishmael was a child of the flesh, whereas Isaac was a child of the promise. The descendants of Ishmael are the children of the flesh, and the descendants of Isaac are the children of the promise. All of this is in the physical realm.

The children of the flesh versus the children of the promise in the spiritual realm

The children of the flesh in the spiritual realm are those who have not trusted Christ as Savior; whereas, the children of the promise are those who have trusted Christ as Savior.

Paul introduces verse 8 with that is, which indicates that an explanation follows. It means this means or that is to say.

The children of the flesh refers to the children who were not promised but who were begotten as a result of Abraham's impatiently attempting to force a seed by using Hagar. He did not wait long enough for God's timing but ran ahead of God.

Physically, the children of the flesh refers to Ishmael and to his descendants. Spiritually, the flesh refers to the old sin nature and refers to those who are characterized by the old sin nature, i.e. by the flesh. They are unsaved people. These are not the children of God; they are not the ones whom God promised.

Those counted for the seed are the children of the promise.

Are counted is are considered. It is a term used to indicate that a calculation has been made, and it is used in the sense of evaluated or looked upon as.

For seed is as seed where seed is used in the sense of children, descendants, or posterity. Although Ishmael and his descendants were the children of Abraham, they were not the children who were promised by God; and they were not counted as descendants when it came time for inheritance.

Similarly, physical descendants of Abraham are not necessarily Abraham's spiritual seed. In other words salvation does not come as a result of being physically related to Abraham; it comes as a result of believing.

All saved Jews are spiritually descended from Abraham, but so are all saved Gentiles. By contrast, all unsaved persons whether Jews or Gentiles, are not spiritually descended from Abraham, but are children of the flesh, i.e. children characterized by the flesh.

Romans 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.

Verse 9 explains why Isaac is a child of promise as is indicated by for.

This is the word of promise refers to what follows in verse 9: at this time will I come and Sara shall have a son.

In Genesis 18 the Lord appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre. Before He left He promised Abraham in verse 10, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. . . .

At this time is at that time or then.

I will come is a prediction of what will come in the future. It is a statement of fact stated in advance.

Sara shall have a son is another statement of fact which is predictive of a future event. That son would be Isaac.

In the next place, we see -

III. THE SECOND PROOF - 9:10-12

Romans 9:10-12 - (10) And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (11) (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) (12) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

In verses 7-9 we have seen that not all the seed of Abraham are children of promise. It is only those descended through Isaac. Similarly, in verses 10-13 we see that not all the descendants of Isaac are viewed as children of promise, but only those who are descended through Jacob. The children of Esau are not considered children of promise.

Although some critics might claim that Ishmael should be rejected because he was illegitimate, no such claim could be made regarding Esau. He was conceived at the same time, and even shared the same womb at the same time, as his brother Jacob. However, God selected Jacob rather than Esau even though Esau was born first.

And not only this; but . . . also indicates the continuation of this line of reasoning. It is an emphatic way of stating an additional truth.

Rebecca was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau.

When she had conceived indicates that she was pregnant.

By one indicates that there was one who was the father of these children, and the phrase even by our father Isaac specifies who this father was. He is Isaac, the same Isaac who was the promised seed of Abraham.

Father is used in the sense of ancestor.

The thought of verse 10 will be continued in verse 12.

Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

As is indicated by the parentheses, verse 11 provides an interlude in the thought between verses 10 and 12.

For indicates that verse 11 explains something that Paul is writing. It is given in explanation of what is going to be said in verse 12.

The children has been supplied by the translators in reference to Jacob and Esau.

Being not yet born indicates that what was said in verse 12 took place prior to their birth while they were still in the womb of their mother.

Neither is a negative which suggests nor. It continues the negative thought of for the children being not yet born.

Neither having done anything good or evil also describes it was said and indicates that what was said while the children were still in their mother's womb was said before they could ever do anything good or evil. The point is that their election is not dependent upon things that they have done or had done but upon the will of God.

That the purpose of God according to election might stand not of works but of him that calleth provides the reason that, before the children were even born and before they had done anything good or evil, it was said to her that the elder shall serve the younger.

That is used in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

The purpose is used in the sense of the plan, the resolve, or the will. It is the same term used in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose. Although we do not understand God's purpose or God's will in everything, He has one; and He operates in accordance with it.

Of God leaves no doubt that this is not just anyone's purpose; it is God's purpose.

According to election is with reference to election or with regard to election, where election means selection or choosing. God selected the nation of Israel to be His people.

Might stand means might last or might continue, suggesting might continue unchanged.

Not of works indicates the means by which God's purpose would not continue unchanged.

Of works is by means of works and suggests that God's election of Jacob rather than Esau had absolutely nothing to do with works that either one of them had done.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to not of works.

Of him that calleth refers to God and means by means of the One Who calls.

Romans 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

Verse 12 continues the thought of verse 10.

It was said unto her is referring to something which happened to Rebecca while she was pregnant with Jacob and Esau to whom she would later give birth.

What was said is recorded in Genesis 25:23 , and it is the Lord Who said it to Rebecca. What was said is the elder shall serve the younger.

The elder is the older one and refers to Esau. He was born first.

Shall serve means shall serve as a slave to or shall be subjected to.

The younger is the younger in age and refers to Jacob who was born shortly after Esau. Esau and Jacob were twins.

Not all the descendants of Isaac are viewed as children of promise. It is only those who are descended through Jacob. The children of Esau are not considered children of promise.

Whereas some might claim that Ishmael should be rejected because he was an illegitimate son, no such claim could be made regarding Esau. He was conceived at the same time, and even shared the same womb at the same time as his brother Jacob. However, God selected Jacob rather than Esau even though Esau was born first.

Finally, we see -

IV. THE WORD OF GOD IS CONFIRMED - 9:13

Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Verse 13 provides the scriptural confirmation of what Paul has just written in verses 10-12.

As is just as.

The tense of it is written indicates an action completed in past time with the result continuing on. It was written down in the past and remains written down for all to read. It has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

What is written is Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. This quotation is from Malachi 1:2-3 , (2) I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, (3) And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

The passage in Malachi describes the desolation of Edom, the nation which is descended from Esau. God's special treatment of the nation of Israel was based on His choice of Israel and His love for Israel. It was not based on Israel's merit.

By contrast God's treatment of Edom was probably based on merit. The Edomites deserved what they got because of the way they lived. At the same time the Israelites also deserved what the Edomites received because of the way they lived, but God's blessing was upon the Israelites because of election.

CONCLUSION:

Although the Jews failed, God's Word has not failed.

Thus, when God says something in His Word, we believe it; and we act upon it.

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:8 - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9 - That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.