Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9
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.2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Cast away—push away, reject. Foreknew—same word as in Romans 8 in regard to believers. Can we trust God’s promise? The faithful remnant will get the promises.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Grace is what makes any election, salvation, remnant possible. If salvation were by works (keeping the law) then we don’t need a Gospel, we don’t need God to send His son, we don’t need to be given anything. Works deny the very nature of what grace is (a gift). If you pursue by works then grace is eliminated.
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
Obtained—hit the mark. Not all Israel obtained righteousness nor the promises, but the remnant by faith did. Table—what they were given in security has turned to what caused their downfall by their own stubborn rebellion.
God gave them the law—“that which was ordained to life they found to be unto death” Romans 7. They were to bring forth the Messiah to accomplish Gospel salvation; they tripped over Him Romans 9:33. No matter what God does, they miss the point.
They miss it because they try to work their own salvation rather than taking God’s gift of salvation.
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall [slip]? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
But Israel’s rebellion is used to bring salvation to Gentiles. Just like Joseph’s brothers, Judas’ betrayal and Israel’s crucifixion of their messiah—all works for good to those in the promise!
Diminishing—defeat, loss, decrease, reduction of the whole to a remnant. Fulness—completion, recovery.
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
Magnify—I glory in my service to the Gentiles, not ashamed, knows it’s part of the plan.
Provoke—stimulate, excite. Hopes the success of the Gentiles will wake up Israel. The story of Israel will look like resurrection! Jews come back brings in Kingdom, great for everyone.
--little kids with toys, not playing with it until their little brother wants to.
For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Firstfruit/root—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Lump/branches—the whole people of Israel. Cut off—some didn’t get it, this allowed Gentiles to come in. Boast not—don’t ridicule the Jews, you need them for your salvation! If it weren’t for them, there would be no tree for you to be grafted into!
Standeth by faith—don’t brag because you’re a Gentile! You’re only in if you have faith, just like Israel, but they fell to boasting. Spare not—not talking about individual salvation but opportunity presented to the group.