Romans 11 Lesson

God Works In Mysterious Ways


As humans, we spend a lot of time thinking about why things happen. 

It begins during our childhood, and continues right on through adulthood.

Being curious comes naturally!  Curiosity allows us to grow intellectually and helps us figure things out.

Throughout our lives, most of us will continue to ask:

  • “Why did this happen?”
  • And “Why did that happen?”

But should we? 

Is it important to know why things happen? 

Not when it comes to the Bible!

We are not to question God’s plan for us, we are to trust it.

We should not question God’s commandments; we should obey them.

And when it comes to our faith, we should not be concerned with the “why” as much as we should be concerned about the “what.” 

We cannot possibly understand why He does the things that He does, nor is it our place to know. 

The mysteries of the universe belong to God, and God alone! 

Consider the following scripture taken from the Book of Isaiah:

  • “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9.

Or this scripture from the Book of Job:

  • “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the measuring line over it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” – Job 38:4-7.

God does not need us to understand His ways.  If it were important for us to know why He did what He did, He would have told us.  One example where God tells us why He did what He did is found in the Gospel of John: 

  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.

In this example, God tells us why He sent His son.  Because of His love for us.John 3:16is the exception and not the rule.  Often, we will not be told why God did what He did, or why He commands what He commands.

Often, we must accept God’s will simply because He is God. This requires humility, obedience, and discipline on our part.

Remember, He is God, and we serve Him, not the other way around.


What God wants from us is obedience.

He wants us to obey His commandments and to be faithful to His Son, Jesus.

Jesus said:

  • “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” – Mathew 7:21-23.

Our focus should be on obeying our Father, not second-guessing Him.

If we are not careful, we can sometimes get caught up in worrying too much about why things are happening and lose our focus on what is truly important. 

This is especially true during times of adversity

During tragedy and illness, for example, the world asks, “Where is God?” or “How could God allow this to happen?” 

We need to remember that Satan is the ruler of the earth, as evidenced by the following four scriptures:

  1. “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” - 1 John 5:19,
  2. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” - 2 Corinthians 4:4,
  3. “The ruler of this world will be cast out.” -John 12:31,
  4. “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” - John 14:30.

Understanding that Satan is being permitted by God to rule the Earth for a period of time explains a lot about why things happen the way that they do. 

But that should not be what we spend our time and energy thinking about. 

As Christians, we need to stop worrying about the “why” and concern ourselves with the “what.” 

We need to ask ourselves, "Are we doing all that God wants us to be doing?" 

Not, “Why did God do that?”

When we put our time and effort into obeying God, we will:

  1. Produce more fruit,
  2. Feel less stressed,
  3. Be more fulfilled. 


In Romans Chapter 11, we see how Israel turned away from the Law, and that by their transgressions, salvation came to the Gentiles. 

Later, the good favor of the Gentiles would stir up jealousy in the Jews and cause some to return to seeking God.

Isn’t that amazing? 

Look how God used the transgressions of the Jews to provide an opportunity for the Gentiles!

Later, God would use the faith of the Gentiles to provide opportunities for the Jews by making them jealous.

Yes, God works in mysterious ways! 

But all that we really need to know is how much He loves us and wants to help us get to heaven. 


The Apostle Paul understood and accepted God’s plan for him.

Even when he did not understand it, he followed it.

That is because Paul trusted God and knew that the plan that God had for him was a righteous plan.

No matter how difficult things got for Paul, he continued to understand that God loved him and was preparing him for Heaven:

  • “All things work together for the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

If we really believe what the above scripture says, when it comes to God, we will concern ourselves only with the “ what,” and not the “ why .”


In Romans Chapter 11, Paul writes about how we are all branches of the same tree with Jesus at the center as the trees’ roots. 

He writes about how some of the branches will reject the tree and fall away, but others will grow strong.

Paul writes that branches that have fallen away can be grafted back into the tree because the roots are strong. 

In other words, God believes in second chances!   

How comforting it is to know that even when we make mistakes and fall into our old sinful ways, it is not too late for us to turn back to God! 

When we do, He will be waiting for us with open arms. 


Curiosity is not a bad thing.

Our curiosity helps us to learn and to discover new things. 

When it comes to our faith, however, God wants us to be obedient to His commands without questioning them.

And with respect to the Bible, He wants us to focus on what He said, and not why He said it.

As Christians, our role is to be obedient to His commands and to live lives that glorify Him and

serve others.

And if we keep our focus on these things, we can look forward to one day hearing the words:

  • “Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Mathew 25:21.

We will end today’s study with the following words spoken by Jesus.

They were said during His Sermon on the Mount:

  • “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Mathew 6:25-34.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Virtual Bible Study

This message is absolutely inspiring and true. I sure do appreciate it and will share with our congregation. Phillip King, Minister. Church of Christ Ennerdale


I agree

Grace W

Great observation, John, that God used the transgressions of the Jews to provide opportunity for the Gentiles, and in due course God used the Gentiles’ faith to draw Jews back to Him! <3

Sara R
Grace W

I just love this and have actually never seen this illustration. What comfort.

Dan W

"And so shall all Israel be saved..." tells us the condition--obedience to the gospel. Let us not give up on our Hebrew friends who have open hearts to the will of God.


Staying busy doing something positive during this pandemic seems more important than ever. If we look for opportunities to be serving God - with so many people upset, stressed, and ill - God will provide the opportunities for us.