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Romans 11:1-2a

No Broken Promises

1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2a God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.


With this question, Paul returns to the thought of Romans 9:6 that the word of God has not failed. He probably has in mind the words of Psalms 94:14 "For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance," and other similar passages (See 1Samuel 12:22). The failure of Israel to hear and accept the word of God, as Paul has just pointed out, demands that he renew the question of the faithfulness of God's word and Israel's rejection.

Has God really cast away His people? Paul says, "May it not be!" His reasoning is that he too is an Israelite, a flesh and blood descendant of Abraham and of the tribe of Benjamin.

"The answer at first seems rather ludicrous, as though Paul was saying, 'The fact that I have understood and believed the word of faith is sufficient proof that God has not rejected Israel,' as though Paul was setting himself up as a representative of his whole people, or even as progenitor of a reconstructed people! But that is almost certainly not what Paul meant. ...this is not an expression of egotistical aggrandizement, rather of indignation that a Jew could conceive of such a horrifying outcome. This is the utterance not of one self-confident in his own status over against his people, but of one confident in God on behalf of his people... It is precisely as a Jew that Paul reaffirms God's faithfulness to the Jews." (James D. G. Dunn; Word Biblical Commentary, Vol 38B, p. 644; Word Inc., 1988)

"God hath not cast away his people..." Paul categorically denied that God's people had been cast away. It was unthinkable! God does not change His mind or His plans; He does not go back on His word that He might be called a liar.

These people of Israel are the people whom God "foreknew." The word foreknew in this passage has a greater meaning than a simple foreknowledge. It takes us back to Paul's statement in 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

God has a plan. Those whom He foreknew He also predestinated. To cast away His own chosen people, to break His promise, to change His plan which had been determined by the workings of His divine council sometime in eternity past, would be against everything that characterizes Him as God. If God is not faithful to His word, there is no hope for any of us. But He is faithful, because that is His very nature.

This should be an encouraging word to every Christian whether Gentile or Jew. Knowing that, no matter what the circumstances may be, God will not abandon His word, should give us the courage to continue our march into battle with the powers of darkness. It should encourage us to preach the gospel wherever we go, whether to the Gentiles or the Jews. God is not finished, His plan and purpose have not been completed, and He has given us the opportunity to be a part of its fulfillment.

Before The Throne:

Take the thought of God's faithfulness into the prayer closet with you today. Pray about any doubts that you may have had, any weaknesses in your faith, and ask the Lord to use this day's Bible Study to shore up those areas of anxiety or doubt. Thank Him for being a God whose word is immutable and faithful to the end. Ask Him to expand your role in completing His plan. Praise Him for who He is and for what He has done for you. Carry His praises from the prayer closet to the streets, to your workplace, to your classroom, or into the marketplace.

For Further Study:

(v.1)
** Hath God. 1Sam 12:22; 2Kgs 23:27; Ps 77:7; Ps 89:31-37; Ps 94:14; Jer 31:36-37; Jer 33:24-26; Hos 9:17; Amos 9:8-9; ** For I also. Rom 9:3; Acts 22:3; Acts 26:4; 2Cor 11:22; Phil 3:5;

(v.2a) ** which he foreknew. Rom 8:29-30; Rom 9:6, 23; Acts 13:48; Acts 15:18; 1Pet 1:2;

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