Romans 11. Forum Discussion

God used the transgressions of the Jews to provide opportunity for the Gentiles

As humans, we spend a lot of time thinking about why things happen the way they do.  It begins during our childhood when we are experiencing so many new things, and it continues right on through to adulthood.    

Being curious is natural.  Curiosity helps us to grow intellectually and to figure things out.  As we grow older, we get exposed to more things and may continue to ask ourselves, “Why did this happen?”

Concerning our faith, we should not be concerned with the “why” as much as the “what”.  God’s ways are superior to ours in every way.  We cannot possibly understand why He does the things that He does.  It is not our place to know.  That is for God to know, not us. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 states:

“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.”

God does not need for us to understand His ways.  If it were important for us to know why He does what He does, He would have told us.  One example where God tells us why He did what He did is found in John 3:16.

“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.”

In this example, God tells us why He sent His son. 

John 3:16 is the exception and not the rule.

What God wants from us is obedience to His commandments and faith in Jesus. 

Jesus says in Mathew 7:21-23, “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.”

Our focus should be on obeying our Father, not second guessing Him or feeling that we are entitled to an explanation.

If we are not careful, we can get caught up in worrying why things are happening and we 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?”

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?  When we put our time and effort into obeying God, we will produce more fruit, feel less stressed, and be more fulfilled. 

In Romans 11, we see how Israel turned away from the Law and that by their transgression’s, salvation would come 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 and obeying His commandments. 

Isn’t that amazing?  Look how God used the transgressions of the Jews to provide opportunity for the Gentiles.  Later, God would use the faith of the Gentiles to provide opportunity for the Jews. 

As we read a few chapters ago in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for the good for those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose.”  If we really believe that, we will concern ourselves with the “what” and not the “why.”

Later in Romans 11, Paul writes about how we are all branches of the same tree with Jesus at the center as the roots.  Paul writes how some branches will reject the tree and fall away, but others will grow strong in their faith.  Paul also writes that branches that have fallen away can be grafted back to the tree because the roots are strong. 

How comforting it is to know that even when we fall away, it is not too late for us to turn back to God.  He will be waiting for us with open arms. 

In Romans 11:18, God reminds us, “Do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”  Our focus should not be on us, it should be on God.

God’s plan will only work when we submit ourselves to His will not ours. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 

The next time adversity strikes, challenge yourself to not focus on the “why” and to get to work on the “what.” 

Thank you for joining us today.  Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Romans 12 and the topics of humility and exercising our spiritual gifts.  May God’s blessings be upon you until then.  Amen

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

What are some practical tips that we can do if we find ourselves asking "Why" things happened too much?

Reply
Michael
Virtual Bible Study

We can focus our energy elsewhere. If we get hung up trying to figure out "why", we should flip the script and search for what God wants us to learn from the event or events. We should challenge ourselves by asking, "What can I do to help?" We can show compassion and look for opportunities to glorify God by helping the situation, not just sitting back, feeling sorry for ourselves, or asking "why"?

Reply
John

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.

Reply