Journey through the Book of Romans
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Paul declares Israel’s Rejection is not Final Part 8
Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. NKJV
Paul now does what he is so often moved to do when he sits back and gazes at the great revelations our Lord Jesus has placed upon his heart to write to these brethren in the Christian fellowship or church in Rome and that is break out into praise and worship from absolute awe, adoration, and admiration of the infinite wisdom of Almighty God. Paul reaches back and takes his heart all the way back to the beginning of Romans 9 and reflects on his own continual grief and sorrow he has for the Nation Israel and every individual Jew that is a part of the Nation and he now sees that grief and sorrow swallowed up in God’s Great Wisdom revealed to him for the salvation of the souls of God’s Covenant People Israel. Paul has taken us on a journey within a journey in these 3 Chapters of Romans 9-11 tucked away in this epistle or letter unveiling God’s Plan for His People Israel because to the Gentile mind it does first appear that God has abandoned “the apple of His Eye”, but Paul (through the great revelation given to him) has declared for us the awesome Wisdom of God for the good of every believing Gentile and most certainly for the good of every believing Jew. Paul has shown us without waver that God’s Promises to Abraham are iron clad, irrevocable, and immutable as Paul so demonstratively declared in Romans 11:1-5.
Let us not miss this great contrast of emotions expressed by this great Apostle as we see his words in Romans 9:1-4 vs. his words here in Romans 11:33-36, for Paul began this 3 Chapter detour in this epistle or letter on a very sad, sower, and somber tone, but we see him now after his own understanding was enlightened by God the Holy Spirit as he finishes these 3 Chapters he rejoices and praises God for the Greatness of His Heart and Mind that is far too deep for Paul to comprehend. Paul exalts the depth of God’s Wisdom and Knowledge and as we would examine that English word depth in more detail, we find that it is translated from the Greek word bathos which means profundity. Now if we were to stop here we still would not understand what Paul is conveying to us here because this English word profundity is a word I dare say none of us ever uses or thinks about or even knew that this word existed, but its meaning will so encapsulate the message of the Apostle to the Roman believers and to believers today. Profundity means wisdom that is profound and difficult to penetrate; wisdom that is incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge; penetrating knowledge or keen insight; the intellectual ability to penetrate deeply into ideas.
Now I am perfectly aware that throughout the history of humanity these attributes have been esteemed to men in every generation, but this is vain boasting on the part of human beings because despite all of the great advances humanity has made over the centuries, humanity is and always will be incapable of understanding God. Paul equates God’s Infinite Wisdom and Knowledge to a well with no bottom or the ocean that has no ocean floor, as it is better stated by the words of the Prophet Isaiah here, Isaiah 55:8-9 “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.” NKJV Paul goes on to say that through the great revelations he has received from our Lord Jesus Christ which has enabled, energized, and empowered him to write down these great truths for us to look into, live by, and love internally are not possible for any other created being to search out for they are so deep and obscure in nature and mystifying and mysterious that they must be revealed to the heart of sinful men and women by God the Holy Spirit or they will not and cannot be ever known. Paul declares God’s decisions about everything that occurs in His Universe that He Spoke into existence are all contained in His Eternal Mind Alone and no man can find them out unless He (God) reveals them to that man or woman, Oh! By the way this is also the very same way salvation works because in order for us to be regenerated and born again, God has to reveal Himself to us because remember what Paul said here, Romans 3:11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God. NKJV
Paul goes on now to cement his praise and reverence for God the Father by asking the following questions in the next two verses and the first one is this Romans 11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? NKJV Paul in the asking of these first two questions took his lead from the Prophet Isaiah who said the same thing to the Jewish people he spoke to in earlier times. The obvious answer to these questions is no one for as the writer of Hebrews reminds us of these words from the Lord God when making His Covenant Promise to Abraham, as it is written here, Hebrews 6:13-14 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” NKJV God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit stand absolutely alone as One God in Three Persons and take no counsel or receive no advice from any of His created beings anywhere in His Universe or Universes.
Paul now asks another question that carries with it an obvious answer by saying, Romans 11:35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? NKJV Likewise the obvious answer to this question is too a resounding no one, for it can be best said by the Word of God as it is written here by the Psalmist Asaph, Psalms 50:7-12 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your God. I do not reprove you for your sacrifices, and your burnt offerings are continually before Me. I shall take no young bull out of your house Nor male goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, For the world is Mine, and all it contains.” NKJV Also the words spoken by our Lord to Job do also testify to the affirmative answer of no one to this final question raised by the Apostle Paul, as it is written, Job 41:11 “Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.” NKJV For God is not dependent on man for anything, but to the contrary man is dependent on God for everything, even his next breath that sustains physical life here upon this earth of His and Paul summarizes this truth for us with these glorious words here, Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. NKJV
“The judgments of His mouth, and the way of our duty, blessed be God, are plain and easy, it is a high-way; but the judgments of His Hands, and the ways of His Providence, are dark and mysterious, which therefore we must not pry into, but silently adore and acquiesce in. The Apostle speaks this especially with reference to that strange turn, the casting off of the Jews and the entertainment of the Gentiles, with a purpose to take in the Jews again in due time; these were strange proceedings, the choosing of some, the refusing of others, and neither according to the probabilities of human conjecture.” Matthew Henry
“It is solely by God’s Power that we are redeemed and that we are enabled to love Him and walk and live in accordance with His Word, therefore, we owe Him everything we have (which is our life) for He gave us everything He has, even His Own Life for our wicked sin and rebellion against Him (1 Peter 3:18).” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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