February 21, 2015
And so he is so concerned for them. He says his heart's desire, his prayer to God for them is for their salvation because they've got zeal all right, but it's not according to knowledge, and this is a tragedy. A terrible tragedy 'cause they missed it. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. They took offence at God's son. But He was the answer that God gave to the world; every sinner would have a relationship, an opportunity to have a relationship to the holy and righteous God. The tragedy is that they have a zeal but their zeal is so misplaced because He says the entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ and they missed it. The problem that He's talking about is hardness of heart. Because God determined before the foundation of the world that He would send His son as the answer, and they insisted on instead resting on their own works, their own you might say, their own accomplishments, and they rejected God's answer. They rejected the Messiah. So here's really the question and it's important for us. What's God's response to that? Does He reject them in a response? They wouldn't heed the glad tidings of good things. They wouldn't open their hearts. They didn't have faith. So what does God do in response? Does He reject them? Is God done with Israel forever? Now, this is really a very important question because of the times in which we are now living. I'm sure that you follow the news and you watch- and you see the things that are happening around the world today. I'm very concerned. But you see these things and we need to understand them and the best way to understand the events of the times in which we're living is against the back drop of prophecy of scripture. This is very important because Israel is more and more in the news, and will be more in the news as we move forward into the last days’ events. The question is 'Is God done with Israel?' 'Are they relevant any longer or have they been cast aside?'
One of the most important places to begin, I think is actually in the last verse of the last chapter. Verse 21 of chapter 10 where he says "Now, as for Israel, all day long I've stretched out my hands to disobedient and obstinate people...” I love that verse, because He wouldn't stretch out His hands to them if they had rejected them. This is God's grace. And I love this because it reveals God's heart. The extent of God's grace is that though they have rejected Him, He holds out His hand all day long and this is what we're going to see even to the end of the age, 'cause this story is going to have a glorious conclusion. When you read this chapter, very very important chapter because we understand that this story has a glorious end.
It's very important because unfortunately there's a certain branch of Theology today that declares that God is done with His people. That He has cast away Israel. That the nation that bears the name 'Israel' in the Middle East today is of no greater significance than any other country equivalent to Canada or Argentina. It just happens to bear the name 'Israel'. It's of no consequence whatsoever. But see this is important because when you look at the events that are happening, any student of scripture must be concerned about what is happening and understand whether Israel has any biblical significance in prophecy. Because the scripture tells us very important things about those last days. How does this come together? Now some, you might say spiritualize Israel and say "Well actually we are Israel. The church is Israel. It's like Replacement Theology. We are Israel. All the promises given to Israel are actually transferred to us the church. We are the new Israel. The problem with that my friends as I look at it is there are some prophesies about Israel on the latter days that says they're going to go through some really difficult turbulent times. I'm really concerned if they think that we're the Israel, 'cause that means we're in for it my friends. And that's not what the scripture tells us. We're going to see this.Others say, "No, let's not spiritualize Israel. We actually know where Israel is. The lost 10 tribes of Israel have been found. You probably heard of the lost 10 tribes of Israel. I personally don't believe in the lost 10 tribes. I believe the all 12 tribes are accounted for. They're known by God.
But some suggest that actually what happened to those lost 10 tribes is that they went into Northern Europe, and their evidence for this is you say, "Well look at Denmark. They are the Danish people." See that word Danish is the key because the word 'ish' in Hebrew means 'man'. So they say that the Danish people are the people of Dan. And then that the Finnish people are Issachar, and then the British- and they continue on, the Finnish, the British, which when you all look at it is actually foolish. Paul is making a point with a big exclamation mark. God has not rejected his people. Now this is really important for us. He says may it never be. When you understand God's heart for Israel, it strengthens your faith, because you realize that the word of God never fails. The promises of God are sure. And then you take hold of those great promises for our lives and realize it actually strengthens our faith to see God's unwavering commitment to His covenant to Israel. See this is important because Jesus made an Interesting statement in Luke 18 where He said, "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?" We are living in troublesome, difficult times. You look at what's happening, the ground seems to be shaking as the earth is changing right before our eyes. How do we understand this when troubles come? Many people's faith are shaken to the core, but you look at what God gives in His word as the promise to Israel and the promise to us and frankly faith is strengthened. We need strong faith. And this chapter will strengthen our faith when we look through it.
Romans 11:1- "I say then, God has not rejected His people has He? May it never be. God forbid it. I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says in the passage about Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel? "Lord, they've killed your prophets, they've torn down your alters and I alone am left and they're seeking my life." What is the divine response to Elijah? "I have kept for myself 7,000 men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice. If it's by grace, it's no longer in the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What then? That which Israel is seeing for, it has not obtained. But those who were chosen obtained it and the rest were hardened."
He's been speaking now about the danger of a hard heart, but then he brings in an aspect of it that's for many people kind of surprising. But it's seen His scripture many places. "God gave them a spirit of stupor: eyes to see not and ears to hear not down to this very day. What does this mean? David continues with it. Let the table become a snare and a trap and a stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened to see not and bend their backs forever. I say then: They did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be, but by their transgression, by their rejection of the Messiah, salvation has come to the Gentile to make them jealous."
Now, we're going to look at more verses. I want to look at these 'cause they're really important. As you can see as we've gone through the book of Romans, it is just filled with tremendous important insight. And this chapter is so important because one of the things we need to understand of course is what is happening with Israel and the future prophetic word. One of the things we need to see out of the scripture is this, that God is committed in advance. God's promises are sure and He is committed to them He says in advance. He made a promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and determined in advance that He would bless their children forever. He knew that a) their children would reject the Messiah. He knew all that in advance, but He also knows the end. He also knows that this is going to gloriously turn to a grand finale. He knew the end and was committed to them in advance. So I look at this and I see it from their perspective of a father, because we raise five and many of you know our story, we adopted two boys and the youngest one came from a home for emotionally troubled kids, so he had all the challenges and difficulties and challenges to authority, and all the things that go along with it. By the way he has just turned his life in such a great way and we're just so happy with how it all has come out. But I remember those days. All those challenges and difficulties, but here is the heart of a father that I saw and got, so for me it was a great picture of it, and it's this: Whenever we'd have one of those challenges and difficulties, I knew at the beginning of it how it was going to end. I knew every time. I knew how it was going to end every single time. It's going to end with him saying, "You're right dad. You're right dad, and I'm so sorry." And you know what? It ended that way every single time.
I. God is Committed in Advance
And so I look at that and I think, you know what? God knew in advance that they would reject the Messiah, but He also knows how this is going go end, 'cause it is glorious. And that's what we're going to see when we come through this. He knew they would reject His Messiah. He knows the end before the beginning, but His word stands forever. His gifts and calling are irrevocable. You know in Jeremiah 31:31 there's this prophesy. "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." In other words, the covenant through Jesus Christ is going to be given to Israel first. It's the fulfillment of God's promise to Israel. And although they would reject it, God's word will not fail. It's going to have a glorious end.
A. God always has a remnant
One of the things He then points out is that God always has a remnant. Really key 'always has a remnant'. The Old Covenant coming to an end, Jesus says the grand finale of the old covenant and His blood is the beginning of a new covenant. And although most of Israel would reject it, there would be some, there would be few who would receive it. God always has a remnant.
Jesus said the same in Mathew 7:14 where He says, "The gate is small, the way is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it." Paul uses himself as an example. And he says that he is an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin. He's an example. There are few. Then he brings up Elijah as an example. You might remember the story because it really is an important story. Back in the days when Israel was divided North and South and Northern 10 tribes were going through their darkest hour; completely had turned their backs on God and gone into worldly things, and so God sent the powerful prophet Elijah to challenge them, to call them back, to bring them to revival and at one point He said, "Assemble the nation at Mount Carmel." So he brings a great multitude together and he stands before them and challenges them. "How long will you waver between two opinions?" Love this challenge. "If God be God then serve Him. If Baal is God then serve Baal." But he just calls it straight out. Then he says- you know a challenge. "Let's have Baal and Jehovah and all to be set up to each one and see whose God answers with fire and so the prophets of Baal started chanting and calling out, and ranting and raving, actually cutting themselves and of course no answer. And then Elijah made the simple prayer. But first he said, "[inaudible 00:13:53] with water." Three times he flooded it with water. A simple prayer, [prayer]
Ahab who was king, his wife Jezebel then sent word to Elijah. "The same will be done to you by this time tomorrow." And he ran down the [inaudible 00:14:29] and then continued on to this cave. And God came to him. "What are you doing here Elijah?" And this is where he calls out against Israel. They've torn down your alters. They've killed your prophets and now they're seeking to kill me. The Lord said, "Stand before the Lord on the Mountain. So he goes out and he's on this mountain. And the scripture tells us that a great wind, a great storm came and rending that mountain and breaking it into pieces. But the Lord is not in the wind. Then a great earthquake shook that mountain, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. Fire came. God was not in the fire. But then a still small voice. "What are you doing here Elijah? Get up, go. I've kept 7,000 that have not bended the knee to Baal. 7,000 who've heard my voice" See this is really important to understand in today's context because it's so relevant. Elijah frustrated he saw the condition of the world, the condition of things, and he wanted some great demonstration of power. "Bring as storm over this land Lord. Shake these people with a mighty earth quake. Bring fire from heaven over these people Lord."
There's a part of us that can relate to this. There's a part of us that sees what's happening in the world today. Because of the news that is broadcast instantly, we see more of what's happening in the world than ever before. And frankly we don't have the stomach to see what we're seeing. When you saw 21 Christians being beheaded on the beach there in Libya, didn't just something inside of you say, "God, do something about this. This is a tragedy. Do something about this. Shake these people Lord. Bring a fire from heaven. Do something God." We want to write the scripts. That God we follow, we want God to do something. "Demonstrate your power Lord." But does that really cause people to believe? Was there a revival after fire fell on Mount Carmel? There was not. He said, "I listen, I speak, and it stills my voice."
There 's an interesting story in the Book of Luke, in Luke 16, a wealthy man died. But there's a poor beggar who used to sit at his gate named Lazarus who also died. Lazarus was comforted in Abraham's bosom but the rich man was across this [inaudible 00:17:25] and saw. "Send them up to my relatives, I don't want them to come to this place. Send them up to my relatives that they might here." And then Abraham said- this is Luke 16:31. "If they wont' listen to Moses and the Prophets...", in other words they've got the word of God. God's been speaking to them through out the word of God. He said, "If they're not going to listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead." Now that is a powerful word. God told Elijah, "I have 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal, because God spoke to them in a still small voice." God speaks to hearts. You know the interesting thing, there is a revival happening in Iran today. How is this happening? God is speaking to them in their dreams. We get reports of it. I have a good friend who is very much involved in ministry in Iran. They get the letters and communications asking for bibles and information. God's visiting them through Jesus Christ in their dreams. He speaking in that still voice.
Romans 10:8. What does it say? "The word is near you. It's in your mouth, it's in you heart.
B. God has chosen grace
This word of faith which we are preaching because God is going to use grace." See this is the thing. God has chosen grace. He's going to speak in that still voice to hearts and it's by grace. Not fire from heaven. Grace. Speaking to them the word of grace. "And if it's by grace, Paul goes on to say, "then it's no longer by works." Graciously called out. No longer is it by works because they're mutually exclusive. It's either by works or it's by grace. But here's the point that he's trying to make. Works does not work.Works doesn't work. It's bu grace. What is grace by the way. It's important to understand its definition. A good and simple biblical definition would be that grace is the kindest of God, the favor of God to those who do not deserve it. By the way it is the other side of the coin. There is the other side of the coin which is called mercy. Mercy is the withholding of God of that which a person deserves. And i'm thankful for God's grace and I'm thankful for God's mercy. And he says it's by grace and grace alone otherwise grace is not grace. Undeserved.
I was thinking of a way to come and illustrate it. It might become like a young person who wants to be accepted, who wants to be adopted you know, and so he sees this man that he wants to be adopted by so he starts mowing his lawn. "What are you doing?" "I want to show you how well I can mow lawns, accept me." And then he comes out another day and he's washing his car. "What are you doing?" "I want to show you how well I wash cars that you might accept me." This is not the way it works. Works does not work. It's grace. For example, when we adopted our boys, they did not have to do a single thing. Not one single thing to be adopted other than receive our offer, our gracious offer to be in our family. The simple receiving by grace. Amen? However having said that, it's important to know that once they were adopted, then the mowing of the lawn and the washing of the car is a good thing, Amen? Thought I'd just throw that in just for fun. He says verse seven, though which Israel is seeking, it has not obtained. Because they wouldn't take it by faith, but as though it were by works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it so clear to us. For by grace you've been saved through faith, that not of yourselves the gift of God. Not as a result of works, so that no one would boast. But then he goes on, talks about the others. There are some who listen to the still small voice. What about the others. And this is what He says. Hard hearts get hardened. Try saying that three times fast. Not now, but I mean, great point here he's saying. Jesus is saying, "Listen, if he be lifted up he will draw omen to himself." Jesus on the cross carrying he sins of the world. God's offer of amazing grace. The forgiveness offering to all. He says he draws all men. How does he draw all men? Knocks on the door of their heart. The word is gone out. The chapter before this- have they not heard? Oh they've heard. The word has gone out into the entire world. Oh they've heard. How does he draw all men? He knocks on the door of their hear. He knocks...on the door of their hearts. What makes their heart hard? 'cause they don't open it. But he graciously keeps knocking, and he knocks louder. And he begins to press into them and press into them. All day long. chapter 10 verse 21. All day long I've held out my hands to them. He knocks louder.
C. Hard hearts get hardened
You know, many years ago we had someone in our extended family that was about to make a really bad decision. All of us kids see it. Very concerned for her. Very very bad decision, so we all have this discussion, and we decided that all of us in the extended family we were going to do a full court press. We're all going to call her and talk to her and get together and just communicate to her our love for her. We all said, it's got to be free love right? Our love for you is for sure, certain. But we're so concerned about this thing that you're about to do because it's going to end in disaster and we love you so much. Here's the thing, full court press, right? We're all calling her. What do you think it did to her to have full court press? It actually had the opposite effect. It actually had the effect of making her more determined to do the thing. Has this thing ever happened to you? Interesting. And I was thinking that is a great illustration of how hard hearts get hardened. Because the full court press of the Lord, they just begin to shut their ears even tighter. So the Lord begins to press even more, and they grow tighter, and their hard hearts get thicker and more impenetrable. Hard hearts get hardened. God speaks to the hearts with a still small voice. Ministering by the spirit. Some listen, some hear. Others stop up their ears. Become dull of hearing.
Now back to chapter 11, because now what he is going to tell us is that this thing is going to end gloriously. See, Israel is going to be grafted in again. This thing is going to have a glorious end which we need to understand. Let's pick it back up in verse 12. "If their transgression be riches for the world, and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be?" In other words he's saying you might say, their loss is our gain. Their failure is riches for the gentiles. But here's the question, so when they come back again is their gain our loss? No, he says it's like glory multiplied. It's going to be amazing. He's giving us a hint that this thing is going to be glorious. Keep moving. He says in verse 13, "I'm speaking to you who are Gentiles inasmuch as I'm an apostle to the Gentiles. I magnify my ministry." If somehow I might move to [inaudible 00:25:59] my fellow countrymen and save some of them. God's going to provoke them.God's stirring them up. God's using the goads of God to stir them up and nudge them in the ribs. Stir up people.
II. Israel will be Grafted in Again
"But if the rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" This thing's going to end gloriously. And if the first piece of [inaudible 00:26:26] was holy, the lamp is holy also. If the root is holy, the branches are too, and any uses and illustration and analogy of a tree. And branches come off of that tree. That's Israel.. And it uses this picture in verse 17, "If some of the branches were broken off, and then you being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree."
Okay, here's the picture, and we're in the picture. He says, "Now, you are the wild olive. You're the wild olive branches and you were cut off of the wild olive tree, and you were grafted into the natural, the cultivated tree. That's a picture of us. And the point of course is that personal application. You be grafted into Christ. The rich root is the supply of all that we need. If you have spiritual fruit, he says it cometh from Christ. Be grafted into Christ, God's holy tree. That's Christ. If you have any spiritual fruit in your life, it's 'cause you're abiding in Him. Any spiritual life. Anything good and Godly that's happening in you life is because you are abiding in Christ, and for no other reason. The fruit comes from the richness of the root. The sap supplied. But he goes on to say they were cut off. And then verse 18 is really key. He says, "Do not be arrogant therefore towards the branches. If you're arrogant, remember it's not you who supports the root but the root supports you." In other words he's talking about your attitude towards Israel. What should you attitude towards Israel be? This is really important. I'll tell you why it's important. Because there's a verse in the book of Genesis. One of the most significant verses in this regard is in Genesis 12:3 where it says, God is making a promise to Abraham and to is descendants forever. And He says, "Those who bless you, I will bless. Those who curse you, will be cursed." I am of the mind that that verse is still very applicable to the present day, and in fact I'm convinced that every nation on the earth should take heed of that verse. And United States of America must take heed of that verse. We must support Israel because of the scriptural position that God puts Israel into. They are God's chosen people, and those who bless Israel will be blessed. I'm convinced that we as a nation must be committed to Israel. Unfortunately I have to report that the country's support for Israel is waning. And this is why he is saying in verse 18, "Be very careful about your attitude towards Israel." This is exceptionally important because unfortunately throughout the history of the church, there has been a most unfortunate relationship between the church and the Jews. For many years in fact, there have been many elements of the church that have blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and wanted to take, you might say, avenge that.
Wait a minute. Jesus died for the sins of the world. We were all responsible for Jesus dying on the cross. But wait a minute, it was God's plan before the foundation of the world that He would send His son and bear our sins on the cross. It was God's plan from the beginning. Are we supposed to be angry with Israel because they crucified our Lord? It was God's plan from the beginning. We all crucified our Lord. It was our sins that did it. See it's important to understand. The attitude towards Israel is very important. I think you would be surprised today, how many pastors today are against Israel. I know 'cause I've talked to them. And there's a growing trend towards Israel and through out the country. But He goes on to say, back to Romans 11:19. You all say, "Well, hey, branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." Well that's quite right. They were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited. But fear humility. Have an attitude of humility. And he goes on, "If God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Behold then the kindness and the severity of God.
Verse 22 is very interesting, don't you think? "Behold then the kindness and the severity of God. You know when I read that, it reminds me of a little scene that unfolds out of The Chronicles of Narnia book and movie. And when I was raising our kids we read them The Chronicles of Narnia series, and now that we're reading our granddaughter I'm back into reading the series, and they're just as good the second time. One of the scenes that unfolds is these four kids they're coming into Narnia, and at one point they hear about Aslan who's a lion. Of course there's a picture of the lion of the tribe of Judah, right? So the kids, they hear about Aslan. He's a lion, and they go, "He's a lion? I'm not sure I should like to meet a lion. Is he safe?" And I love the answer. 'cause the answer was. "Is he safe? Of course he's not safe, he's a lion I say. But surely he is good." I love that. Behold the kindness and the severity of God. "Is he safe?" "Of course he's not safe, he's a lion. But surely he's good." Behold, the kindness and severity of God to those who've felt severity, but to you kindness. If you continue in His kindness, otherwise you will be cut off and they also, do not continue in their unbelief will be grafted in. God is able to graft them and again.
If you're cut off from that which is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted in to their own olive tree? I don't want you to be unaware brethren or uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation. And here's the key, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and thus therefore, here's a key phrase, all Israel will be saved. Just as it is written, the deliverer will come from Zion. He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. "This is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." So he says the hardening of Israel, their being cut off from the tree is only temporary until the fullness of the Gentiles.
There's a great parable that Jesus uses. This is in Matthew 22:8-9 where he talks about a king who's going to have a great wedding feast and he invites the nobles and the worthy. He invites the people of significance but they all have excuses and they reject the invitation. It's a picture, isn't it? Of Jesus offering the invitation to Israel first but they reject it. Matthew 22:8-9, He says, Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast." Great picture of the gospel being given to the Gentiles. "Go out to the highways and the byways and the head rows, and find anyone you can find. The poor, the destitute, the broken. Bring them in and give them each a wedding garment so that they may come in to the wedding fully dressed; the robe of righteousness. Beautiful picture. And God know exactly how many Gentiles will be coming to the wedding feast, and when the last Gentile has come in to the wedding feast, God will move to restore Israel. How many? I don't know. God's counting. Kind of reminds me of [inaudible 00:35:37] counting all the people coming through the gate. And then the five millionth visitor comes in walking through the gate. The band plays and the lights flash and the big announcement, "You are the five millionth visitor today." They've been counting the whole time. Like that, God's counting the whole time. He knows the fullness of the Gentiles, and when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and the last one has listened to that still small voice, Israel will be restored.
B. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable
Because, here's the key. The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
One of the questions I think that sometimes people discuss and debate in their churches, whether or not someone can lose their salvation. I'm convinced that a person cannot lose their salvation because this is one of the key verses right here. The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. I think of it as a picture of adoption. since we adopted our boys it's a great illustration. No matter what attitude. No matter what challenges you bring. No matter your waywardness, does not matter, because the judge cast down that gavel and said you are the parent, you are the father, and you are the son. The judge said it and I would sometimes say this. In those moments of challenges. "I want to go back. I want to go back to Russia." Well unless you've got more authority than the judge, you're staying my friend. And you don't have more authority than the judge. And that gavel came down and declared that you are a son or a daughter of God. It is irrevocable. There's a statement that he makes. I don't know how much more clear Paul can be than this, "God is not finished with Israel." God, he says, has shut up all the disobedience that He might show mercy to all. But here's a key to us. This thing ends gloriously but when God restores Israel, they will open their eyes from their blindness and they will receive their Messiah. They will be restored, but only because they're going to recognize Jesus as their salvation and their Messiah. When they are brought in, they are brought in through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Let me give you a verse. Zechariah 12:10. "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and the spirit of supplication, so that they will look on me whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son." Why are they going to mourn? Because their eyes are going to be open and they're going to say, "That was our Messiah, that was among us those many years ago and we missed it. And we crucified our Lord." They'll look on Him on whom they have pierced and they'll mourn for Him. But they will be restored because they poured out the spirit of grace and the spirit of supplication, and they will be restored through the blood of Jesus Christ. In other words they are restored only when they receive the Messiah. But their eyes will be opened. They'll be grafted and again into the tree. You know when in Isaiah, here He uses an image of the same idea: A tree with the branches cut off. But He goes actually a little further. He actually says, it's not just a branch here or the others cut off, God takes and cuts off the whole tree. I was discussing with Pastor Matthew this week. I said, "You know what would have been really cool? If we would have had a way of having a little video that we could have done where I could have been walking out in the woods or something, and they're picking up a chainsaw. It's kind of like this. 'Vrooom'. And you want to cut down the tree. I didn't want to get ladders though for it so I decided, you know, the witness be- this is a picture. It's like God takes His holy chainsaw you might say, and He cuts down the whole booming tree. 'Vrooom'. Just cut's it right off down to the stump. But then, a stem begins to grow, a branch begins to come and a mighty tree grows out of that stump. That stump, that growth, that stem that springs forth is Jesus. They will be grafted in, but only into Jesus.
Let me give you a verse. Would you open your bibles to Isaiah 11, 'cause we've got to see this. Isaiah 11. We're going to look at verse 1 but first I want to look at verse 33 the previous chapter. He says, "Behold the Lord, the God of hosts will lap off the bowls with a terrible crash. Chapter 11 verse 1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse." Who's Jesse? That's David's father. Son of David is the Messiah. "A branch from it's roots will bear fruit and the spirit of the Lord will rest on Him. The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength. The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and He will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what his eyes see or make a decision by what his ears hear. But with righteousness He will judge the poor and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth. He will strike the earth with a rod of his mouth and with the breathe of his lips He will slay the wicked also righteousness will be the belt about his loins and faithfulness will be the belt about his waist." This is verse 6, I'm following. "How you know it's the latter days because the earth itself will be changed. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb. And the leopard will lie down with the kid. And the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling will lie down together, and the little boy will lead them. What little boy would not love to have a lion as a pet? And the cow and the bear will graze together, and their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox, and a nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra. And the weaning child will put his hand into the vipers den. "Mom, dad, I'm going to be down playing with the cobras." "Okay, be home for dinner." They will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Then it comes about in that day, that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples and they rest his resting place will be glorious. This thing ends gloriously.
Back to Romans 11. It finishes very powerfully. Verse 33. All the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable His judgments. How unfathomable His ways. Who has known the mind of the Lord and become his counselor? Who was first given to Him that it might be paid back to him? From Him, to Him and through Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever and ever. See I don't know about you but that fires me up. To think that God has declared the end before the beginning. This thing ends gloriously. You see all the things, the troubles of this world, and then you understand that God is king over all the earth. His sovereign hand rests over all nations, and this thing will end gloriously when the Lord himself returns, restores Israel and the nations will come on to Him. His resting place will be glorious. I don't know about you but that fires my faith. When the Lord returns, will He find faith on the earth? It's always been about faith. We have a rock that does not move and His name is Jesus Christ, and He's told us that we can trust Him with the nations. And if we can trust Him with the nations we can trust Him with our own lives.