Daily readings and Thought for August 2nd. “GOD HAS THE POWER TO GRAFT THEM IN AGAIN”
Chapter 11 of the letter to the Romans starts with the question, “Has God rejected his people?” The answer is, “By no means!” This question was being asked because the Jewish people had killed God’s son, and their chief priests had declared, “We have no king but Caesar” [John 19 v.15] so it was a reasonable question to ask.
Paul says that “at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.”[v.5] and Paul was one of them. But he also sees that, at a future time, “they, if they do not continue in their unbelief will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.” [v.23] and that the Gentiles should “not be arrogant toward the (natural) branches” [v.18]
Then Paul declares that “a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” [v.25]. In Ch. 10, also our reading today, Paul praises those “who preach the good news” and that “their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world” [v.15,18} words he quoted from Isaiah 52 v.7 and the Psalms 19 v.4. God’s words have now reached “the ends of the world” – as far as we can tell, all the Gentiles have now heard! Printed copies are now available in every language.
What we also read today in Jeremiah will soon take place, indeed it is in process now! “God said, “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to my fold and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more …” [Ch.23 v.3,4]
The prophet is also caused to write of the time when the LORD looks “to see … who has paid attention to his word and listened … The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.” [v.18,23]
Let us make sure we pay attention to his word and that our attention affects the way we decide to live our lives. We ignore – or pollute “his word” at our peril, let us always be conscious of the “power” “God has …”