The People of Israel Will be Brought Back

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The text begins in this passage by focusing on the puffed up minds of men (v. 25). It ends with Paul falling before God in praise, based upon the infinite and unfathomable wisdom of God (vv. 33-36). These words are a most appropriate conclusion. They conclude not only the argument of chapter 11, and of chapters 9-11, but also the entire argument of chapters 1-11.

Paul challenges those Gentiles inclined toward arrogance to compare their ignorance with God’s wisdom (vv. 34-35). These words could be used to rebuke prideful men, but they are employed in worship instead. Man worships God because He is infinitely greater, wiser, and more gracious than men. Seeing ourselves in the light of who God is humbles us. Seeing God in the light of who and what we are necessitates our praise and worship. Paul’s words of praise are borrowed. The expressions of verse 34 come from Isaiah 40 which deals with the salvation of Israel from her sins. It does not speak of Israel’s salvation in a way that would flatter this rebellious people or incite them to pride. Nevertheless, much of its thrust is against the arrogance of the Gentiles, who prevail for a time over God’s people and who begin to be puffed up with pride, not understanding God’s purposes, nor that He has used them to accomplish His purposes. In this passage Paul shows how the Jews and the Gentiles benefit each other. Whenever God shows mercy to one group, the other shares the blessing. Maybe you have heard it put this way: it rains on both the just and the unjust.


God is sovereign and in control of history. He is the source, the means, and the goal of all things. This means He is “the author and the finisher of my faith” (Hebrews 12:2). It means He is the One who began the good work in me, and He is the One who will also complete it (Philippians 1:6).

Romans 11:25-36 (English Standard Version)

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob"; "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

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