Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
December 10, 2017
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are
] not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they
] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are
] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9 For this [is
] the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10 And not only [this
]; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, [even
] by our father Isaac;
11 (For [the children
] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
1901 ASV Translation
6 But [it is
] not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel:
7 neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.
9 For this is a word of promise,
According to this season will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10 And not only so; but Rebecca also having conceived by one, [even
] by our father Isaac--
11 for [the children
] being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth,
12 it was said unto her,
The elder shall serve the younger.
13 Even as it is written,
Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.
- I. The Question of "The Word of The God".
- A. Its essence.
- 1. The verb is a compound combining the preposition "out from" with a common verb meaning "to fall" in a wide variety of senses. It is used in contexts where a certain "function" is viewed as "losing its ability".
- 2. The sense in this text is that "The Word of The God" should not have its intended impact.
- B. It origin(s).
- 1. If God made some promises, and then failed to bring them to fruition, it could be said that His Word "failed", "fell down without accomplishing its intention".
- 2. Paul has just written of the covenants and the promises as the foundations of man's "faith". If these could "fail", then man's "faith" would be vain.
- a. In the situation of the first century, it "appears" as though God's glorious promises to the fathers have come to "nothing". Israel had The Christ put to death and compounded the rebellion by hardening themselves against the preaching of the Cross.
- b. In the larger picture, "Israel" has rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel and the Plan of God has moved away from Israel's special status and turned to the Gentiles. This is very much like Abraham and Sarah turning to Hagar as the way to have a son: the delay of God in fulfilling His word has stretched them beyond their willingness to be faithful.
- c. So, what of the covenants/promises?
- 3. Isaiah 55:11 denies this possibility without being specific about any certain situation and, thus, without revealing God's "purpose" in saying what He says.
- II. Paul's Answer.
- A. Those who are "out of Israel" are not all "Israel".
- 1. This is not the introduction of a "new" definition of "Israel"; there have always been those in the parameters of "Israel", as "Jacob", who have rejected the God of Israel.
- 2. The "problem" is that at the present time those who have rejected are far larger in number than those who have embraced. This creates an "illusion" of "failure" in terms of God's revelation of His Plan.
- a. However, the truth is that, rather than a failure of the revealed plan, it is a consequence of the absence of revelation concerning certain aspects of the Larger Plan. Because God did not reveal everything about His Plan, men have taken it upon themselves to fill in the gaps with their own preferences and notions.
- b. In the wisdom of God, it pleased Him to not only hold back some aspects of His works, but to also defeat the "wisdom of men" by doing things His own way. This "way" often seems mysterious and shocking. Who could have thought that the death of The Christ was the divine capstone of His greater wisdom? Who would have dreamed that God could and would use the machinations of His adversaries so completely against them? The very dealings which were employed to defeat Him have been turned into an absolute victory by Him.
- B. It takes more than physical generation by Jacob to produce God's "Israel".
- 1. Paul has already alluded to this reality in Romans 4:12 where there are two qualities of "Israel": those who are "of the circumcision" and "of that faith of ... Abraham".
- 2. It is not of Jacob only that "Israel" comes into being; it is of the working of the God of Jacob that "physical descent and faith" come into the picture.