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Paul Mourns over Israel’s Rejection of Christ
Romans 9:1-5 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. NKJV
Paul now stops suddenly and dramatically and turns the focus of his letter directly to the Jews that have yet to receive the forgiveness that Christ purchased on the Cross for them as He did for every tribe and tongue of human beings throughout the whole world. Our Lord Jesus Christ was born in the flesh a Jew and He was raised in all the Jewish customs and traditions as Paul was and every other Jew. Our Lord Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of Israel (to His own who received Him not) and most of the parables our Lord Jesus spoke were a vivid word picture of just that reality. Perhaps the most striking was the parable of the wicked vinedressers which is recorded in Matthew 21:33-46. Paul was no doubt acquainted with this parable and the others that portrayed the Pharisees as religious hypocrites who were more concerned with what they could get from God than what they could give to Him. Paul was surely present on many of the occasions our Lord Jesus spoke these and other parables, being that he was a high ranking Pharisee before his conversion (Galatians 1:13-14). Paul no doubt has all of these ugly memories come flooding back as he has gone about now preaching the gospel of Christ and seeing some current Pharisees and other Jews as zealous as he was and also as blind spiritually as he was not able to discern the truth correctly through the Prophets of old and especially Isaiah 52 & Isaiah 53.
Paul again is not a man to conceal what he thinks and feels, but is very free in sharing his heart and emotions with all. As Paul begins the new dialogue, he first wants everyone to understand that what he is saying is the truth and not him trying to appear pious or super spiritual or above other saints. Paul wanted it to be known and believed that he was expressing his true feelings. Paul says that he has great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart. Paul used the Greek word megas translated by those into King James English with the word great. At that time it was perhaps the only word available in the King James English to convey the meaning of megas. This Greek word megas means exceedingly great or big or large, it is perhaps where we now get our English word mega from and it is used by the Apostle Paul to express the vast and wide ranging or abundant nature of his heaviness and grieved heart over the Nation Israel. Paul was not just hugely grieved, but his grief was defined by the Greek word adialeiptos which means unintermitted, that is, permanent or without ceasing or continual.
Paul not only grieved over the lost condition of the Nation Israel and its individual citizens for their rejection of our Lord Jesus Christ as The Messiah, but he never stopped grieving over them and grieved so over them all the way until he was beheaded by the Romans. These Jews tried to kill Paul on several occasions and beat him three times with rods and beat him five times with the cat of nine tails the same thing used to beat our Lord Jesus Christ with before He was crucified (Acts 21:30-32 & Acts 22:22 & Acts 25:24). This former Jewish Pharisee knew what it was like to be trapped in spiritual darkness or blindness by religious zeal minus Christ and agonized over those current Jews in the same condition or state of mind and spirit that he once found himself. Paul knew these men of the Jewish hierarchy and the non-ruling Jews as well were on a collision course with @#!*% and it caused Paul’s heart to be filled with indescribable grief and sorrow for these people and their rejection of Jesus Christ the Light of the World.
Paul knew from the reality and truth of his own conversion that words were not enough to convince these people of the truth about Christ. Paul surely heard many of the early Apostles of our Lord like Peter, James, and John preaching the gospel to many in Jerusalem and other places, but he still was unchanged in his heart until he had a personal encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was so moved with grief and sorrow over their present spiritual state that he even pondered what he knew was not possible at all, but he stated he could wish himself to be in their shoes and they in his shoes. Paul knew that it was impossible for him to ever be unregenerate again, but he so wanted Israel’s spiritual eyes opened to the truth of the gospel of Christ that he even wished the impossible just to see them be saved.
Paul knew that God had elected the Nation Israel by calling Abram (later renamed Abraham) out of Ur of Chaldeans and making a Nation from Abrahams loins, but that did not make every individual Israelite sons of God only the Nation as a whole, for John the Baptist even reaffirmed this truth when he said, Matthew 3:7-9 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” NKJV Israel as a Nation was privy to the Shekinah Glory of God that none of the Gentile Nations ever experienced, and they were as a Nation in Covenant with God (YAHWEH) through Abraham as we stated above, and through the Nation of Israel did God give His Law (The Ten Commandments) from the Mountain at Sinai, and the Nation of Israel as a whole was always in the service of God while the pagan Nations were left to worship their idols or satanic images, and finally the Nation of Israel was the one to receive the Messiah or Savior of the World and all the other promises God (YAHWEH) made in Covenant with Abraham, as our Lord Jesus said, John 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” NKJV Paul now knew with certainty that despite all of these wonderful truths that pertain to the Nation as a whole that it mattered nothing if they persisted and continued in their rejection of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah for He is the fulfillment of all those things and even the Patriarch Abraham was privileged to see Christ day and rejoice in it for his people.
Psalms 119:136 Rivers of water run down from my eyes, Because men do not keep Your law. NKJV
Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? NKJV
“He would be willing to undergo the greatest misery to do them good. Love is apt to be thus bold, and venturous, and self-denying. Because the glory of God’s grace in the salvation of many is to be preferred before the welfare and happiness of a single person, Paul, if they were put in competition, would be content to forego all his own happiness to purchase theirs.” Matthew Henry
“Anyone who has wet his or her pillow case on many occasions praying for loved ones living in sin and rebellion far from our Lord Jesus Christ knows exactly the anguish expressed by the great Apostle Paul in Romans 9:1-2.” 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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