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The Bible Teacher's Commentary
Romans 11:11-15 is the second of four parts to The Bible Teacher's Commentary on Romans: Salvations's Great Plan (Romans 11:11-36). Paul engages us by sharing how the Lord would do greater things through Israel upon her warm response.
A) Greater blessings on all upon Israel's return (Romans 11:11-15)
Paul provides us several surprising facts about Israel in 11:1-15. He is still trying to prevent us from making wrong conclusions. Note the question in 11:11 that drives the words in the rest of this chapter.
Israel is not out of the scene! (11:11)
"... They did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be!" (11:11)
Paul makes a difference between stumbling and falling. Stumbling is tripping where one can get up again. In fact, Paul will take this wording to "prove" Israel as a nation will come back one day. It only stumbled.
God uses Israel's disobedience (11:11-12)
"... But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles to make them jealous" (11:11)
God's eternal plan is hardly frustrated by man's disobedience even when it involves His key player, Israel. Paul in essence is convincing us not to see Israel as if God has made a mistake but that a greater more subtle plan is being accomplished. Nor does God's plan end here.
Clear on one thing (11:13-14)
"... I am speaking to you who are Gentiles" (11:13)
He is revealing to the Gentiles that they are not an end for God has a purpose which is greater than themselves. On the one hand he removes any basis of pride among the Gentiles. On the other hand, he is revealing how God is using them to create a holy jealousy among the Jews so that some might believe.
The two-fold plan (11:15)
"... if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" (11:15)
- Plan #1 Through Israel's transgression, the reconciliation of the world comes about.
- Plan#2 Through Israel's acceptance, the grand resurrection of the world comes about.
"For this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:24).
Plan #1 has been discussed in great deal throughout chapters 9-11.
Plan #2 and the phrase "life from the dead" is only quickly mentioned here. Perhaps it refers to the Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dead bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
"Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. "And I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it," declares the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:13-14).
Once the Spirit softens Israel, more marvelous things will occur!
"... if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! " (11:12)
-> Continue on reading part 3/4 on Romans 11:16-24 on how the Gentiles are engrafted onto Israel's olive tree.
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