Romans: Day 29

The Depth of God’s Wisdom

by

Today's Text: Romans 11:25-36, Isaiah 40:13-15, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Scripture Reading: Romans 11:25-36, Isaiah 40:13-15, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Perhaps you’ve heard the not-so-fairy-tale-like stories of the children of Israel. Like the one where God rescued them from slavery, and they responded by grumbling about the flavors missing from their menu (Numbers 11). Or the one where they got impatient with Moses as he met with God on Mt. Sinai, so they decided to worship a golden calf (Exodus 32). Or the time when they came to the border of the promised land and listened to their knees knocking and hearts racing, instead of listening to the voice of God (Numbers 13).

When we flip forward in our Bibles to the New Testament, we find God’s people still stuck in the ruts of rejection and rebellion. It was, after all, the Jewish leaders who led the charge to have Jesus arrested, tried, convicted, and crucified (Matthew 26:3-5). After the resurrection, they remained resolute in their opposition of Jesus, doing everything in their power to squelch the message of the Church.

Yet here in Romans 11, Paul reminds us that despite their chronic grumbling and wilderness wandering, despite their golden calf worshipping and Savior scourging, the Jewish people remain God’s “beloved” (v. 28).

Our human logic may balk at this, but Paul warns against trusting only what makes sense to our brains (Romans 11:25). Try as we might, we cannot understand God’s love using our flawed standards for love and acceptance. Chapter after chapter, verse after verse, the story of God’s commitment to His chosen people doesn’t make sense. Human understanding leaves us wondering, Why did God choose them? But through the lens of the gospel, the story of the Jews suddenly makes sense. Look at Deuteronomy 7:6-8.

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (v. 6).  

Lean in. Listen closely to this next part.

“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all the peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath he swore to your fathers. . .” (vv. 7-8).

God knew His beloved were weak and frail—incapable of keeping their side of the covenant. Still He chose them, loves them, and keeps His promises to them.

The Bible is not the story of a wayward people but of a faithful God.

In the shadow of the cross, we are God’s chosen people. Because of the gospel, our identity has been changed from “not my people” to “my people” (Romans 9:25). Christ’s sacrifice made a way for us to be among the “beloved.” The gifts God has lavished upon us are so extravagant, and we are so undeserving, that we sometimes worry He’ll take them back. But “God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).

The depth of God’s wisdom is matched only by the depth of His love. He has promised unfathomable gifts to us and He will never snatch them back. If every one of God’s acts of love and faithfulness toward the Jewish people could be contained, they’d overflow the seas. We, too, can stand on the shore and see the unmistakable faithfulness of God.

We are weak.

We are wayward.

And yet, the Prince and the kingdom are irrevocably ours.

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

  • Mandi Garcia

    Great, powerful read!

  • Oh this was a powerful reading. Thank you. His love is incredible!

  • Amen!! As we are children and beloved of God all the promises to ancient Israel apply to us!

  • Love this, my church has been moved to start praying for Israel before every service. We have not replaced them, we are grafted in!

  • I am trying to figure out the connection between the Corinthians passage and the other verses. Is it meant to highlight the way that gifts are given at the mercy of God, just like God’s selection of Israel? To remind us that spiritual gifts are not deserved by us but given freely under his grace? Or to expand on the the verse “gifts and calling of God are irreversible”? Any thoughts?

    • Cassandra Stone

      I thought it seemed out of place also. What you suggested is what I was gathering also but I’m not quite for sure on that.

  • Marytony

    Wow! I am catching up with my reading and I absolutely loved this devotional!
    I just came back from Israel and Romans 11:25-26 touched my heart so much! Israel is only partially hardened, for a period of time to give opportunity for us gentiles to come into the kingdom, but they will be saved!!! This makes my heart leap with joy!
    Also as I was reading the devotional and all the listed failures of the chosen people, it hit me: I am not any better. It just encourages me to see the love, mercy and faithfulness to his chosen people… and now that through Jesus Christ I am chosen as well, I can fully trust that He will never leave me no matter what! What a beautiful assurance!

  • Jody Heavenrich Hensley

    This fills my heart with true happiness. I will never be able to comprehend God’s love but I am so thankful that He bestows it upon me.

  • Wow reading all your beautiful comments have truly inspired me. I am always getting trapped by the enemies inner voice, how can God love you? You are not worthy ? But reading Gods word today that God doesn’t love us with the broken human love linked to conditions or our performance, he loves us he absolutely loves us despite all our weaknesses and His love is irrévocable. Thank you God for choosing me a fallen weak person to be filled by your love. Knowing this helps me to learn to love myself and in turn given the ability to love others.

  • It is so difficult to understand God’s love for us. We tend to discount His love because we think that He loves us like we love each other – with constraints, and conditions, and always on the verge of rejection and disappointment. But the truth is that His love has no conditions and it will never end. If we can grasp that simple, straight-forward concept, then we will be able to trust Him completely and value His love for what it is: unconditional and for eternity.

  • These past couple days have been difficult, as I have struggled with my failings. UGH. Paralyzing and ugly thoughts have tripped me up. This reading has helped me come back to my center. I am certainly NOT anywhere near sinless and yet God still holds me close. I am so thankful for this. Confessing my sin and moving forward … thank you, Lord.

    • Melanie Bisson

      Amen, Susan!

    • Michelle

      That is all we can do: confess, repent and move forward in God’s love and mercy. It’s the only thing that saved me from myself.

  • Erin, I love how heavy into the Word this was based! I truly feel like I learned. Thank you so much for this.

  • Allison Joy

    I love this version of Romans 11:33-36, put to music by Andrew Peterson.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhrIRUJUvf8

  • I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old. I am now 35 and have this weekend felt so close to God. This passage takes a whole new meaning for me after my beautiful encounter with my Heavenly Father and His amazing answer to our prayers. I was beginning to feel spiritually exhausted and unworthy, but this weekend that has all changed for me. Thank you for this amazing bible study and as the bible says ‘God’s timing is perfect’ xx

  • “The Bible is not the story of a wayward people but of a faithful God.”

    As someone who accepted Christ as a child and grew up in church, I always had a heart for God. But that love and desire to please gave way to self-righteousness and works-based faith in my teenage years. After college, I felt God calling me to draw closer to Him. I wasn’t faithful right away, but He was. Now, at the age of 25, I can finally say that I am experiencing the joy of a true relationship with my Father for the first time in my life.

    When I look back at my life, it’s easy to despair at my waywardness. But in the midst of that is His love, His mercy, His faithfulness. Sometimes I wonder what God saw in me. I ask Him, “Why did You choose me?” It’s so hard for me to wrap my finite, human mind around a love like that. Despite my disobedience, He chose me and continually pursued me. And He chooses me every single day.

    I’m so thankful that “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable” in our lives… (Romans 11:29) …that our salvation is not based on how we feel, but on His grace and love that never fails. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15

  • Veronica

    “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” » 2 Corinthians 12:9

    We are wayward, broken, reliably unreliable. Yet our Father has a purpose for us, dreams for us, delights in us (Zephaniah 3:17).

    It’s easy to mistake our failures and weaknesses for the amount we are worth. When we fall short, when we sin, when we withdraw our love from others- we forget that God knew our weaknesses before they came to be, he knows our every thought, and is here with us through our mistakes. When we fail, when we struggle, we have the beautiful hope of his never ending love and the knowledge that he won’t ever leave us.

    We can’t do this life alone- we can’t ever be ‘sinless’ or perfect- we are merely human. But with God, he joins us where we are, at the edge of our messy, broken lives and brings us up to make something beautiful. Without him we are incomplete, with him we are whole. We were made to be loved by him.

  • Diane Huntsman

    So this:
    Tweak my thinking to think way more upon Him and His matchless love and incomprehensible grace and think way less about myself..
    what a concept.. more of Him less of me.
    Noted✔️ thank you once again SRT xo

  • I am so thankful for Paul and for God, knowing I would need this, centuries later. Romans has been working on me, one day at a time, to remind me that God knows I’m going to mess up, I’m not going to get to some spiritual plane here on earth where I never make stupid choices of think ugly thoughts, it doesn’t matter how long ago I found Jesus. God is fully aware and loves me and will continue to love and forgive me until I die. It’s almost harder for me to wrap my head around this than it was to believe all my sins were washed away the first time! What a wonderful patient God. I love Him so much.

  • Tricia C

    I agree Alexis. I surely don’t deserve his mercy and grace. But God…He loves me anyways. Praise be!

  • This so convicted me and blessed me at the same time. Looking over and reading the Old Testament books you listed, I’ve seen how I’ve acted like the Israelites did in so many ways. When I don’t like how things are going, I complain. When I get impatient, I take things into my own hands. When I am afraid, I see the bad instead of the good.
    But God.
    He is so merciful and good. He chooses me every…single…day. He knows I am flawed. He knows that I will fail. Yet He loves me and chooses me. Thank you God for your mercy and grace. Thank you for your promises. Thank you.

  • To anyone who might see this, asking for prayers for my friend Christine’s father. His surgery on Friday has led to complications. They don’t have a large family for support. And they also don’t have a church family. So anyway you can step in with your prayers, SRT sisters would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Love you guys and for everyone celebrating this holiday, please have lots of fun and stay safe!

  • He is so much bigger than we can understand or imagine. Praise be to Him!

  • I’m loving every minute spent in Romans…I only discovered the devotional & comment side yesterday! How did I miss that? I’m going back through & reading the devotionals. They add so much more depth and relevance to my study. Thank you

  • Caroline

    “The Bible is not the story of a wayward people but of a faithful God.” <— This. It's about Jesus. It's about who he is and what he is done. Thankfully it's not about us

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • Katalina

    “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”- Phillipans 1:6 This was the bible verse that instantly came to mind when Erin says that He has promised unfathomable gifts to us and He will never snatch them back. Our human understanding and perception of God’s love is nothing compared to the real thing because His love is pure and raw and unconditional. Not even a mothers affection can compare to our Saviors love towards His people. Just the story of the cross is example enough. We always struggle with the notion that we can only be loved if we’re strong and perfect. . . But praise the One who’s Affection, Grace and Mercy goes far beyond what our human minds have the capacity to understand. We no longer need to suffer that rejection because He has chosen us, human flaws and all ❤️

  • I have downloaded the app on my phone but it wants me to pay to read these on it. Am I doing something wrong? I didn’t expect to have to pay since I bought the study and I can read free at this site. Maybe I’m just old and can’t figure out the app

    • IAB

      You are correct – you still have to pay to read online even if you bought the book – usually minimal price and occasionally some are free -

      • Suzi

        You can read it for free through your browser rather than the app.

  • The Bible is not the story of a wayward people but of a faithful God. Amen hallelujah– finding peace and comfort in this wonderful truth this morning!

  • churchmouse

    You know that statement “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably because it is”? That applies to a lot of false advertising but it most certainly does not apply to our God. His love, His grace, His forgiveness, His mercy – they all seem too good to be true. But they ARE true! They really are true! He’s not kidding around. He’s not teasing. He means every single Word. “To Him be the glory forever. AMEN.”

  • “God knew His beloved were weak and frail—incapable of keeping their side of the covenant. Still He chose them, loves them, and keeps His promises to them. ”

    He knows me and all of my daily failures, yet He still chooses to love me. I am so grateful for his grace and mercy that are new, Every. Single. Morning.

    • Emily B.

      Thank you for making that connection! I didn’t put myself in the Israelites’ shoes as I was reading, but I’m just like them.

  • Erin, thank you! What a profound and powerful devotional. What a blessed and glorious hope we have, thanks to a God who loves us so faithfully! And I know that it is His perfect love that decides that I deserve all He has in store for me. I don’t have any merits to show Him, only what He prepared beforehand for me to do and I can rest my heart because of that. I love you my Father, I love you my Peace, I love you my Advocate.

  • Renna Nightingale

    So beautifully written, Erin! Thank you for this new perspective. “The gifts of God are so extravagant, we fear He will take them back.” So good!

  • Amen!

  • Very timely as well. God in his mercy and faithfulness catches us at our weakest to teach us not to rely on our own strength but to receive these gifts. Unexpected, unmistakable and irrevocable. Every good and perfect gift comes from him. To him be the glory

  • So grateful for grace. So grateful he doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Because I try. I really do. And I end up failing in some way every time. Thank you for the wonderful devotional, Erin. This was so timely.

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