Reading through Romans 11 can make one scratch her head. God broke off the branch of Israel to graft in the Gentiles…really?
Why did God plan salvation this way?
Why did God decide to harden Israel’s heart?
Why did God decide to use the Gentiles to make Israel jealous?
Was there no other way?
Yet as I continue to read, the Holy Spirit keeps me in check.
“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?” ~Romans 11:33-35
Who am I to question God? In fact, Paul, the author, quoted two places from the Old Testament in which God challenges those who do question him, in Isaiah and Job. If anyone had reason to question God, Job did…at least in my humble opinion. Even still, with the many trials Job endured, God did not allow Job to question his ways.
Have I ever counseled God?
Has God ever asked me for advice?
In fact, if God needed my advice or help, what kind of God would He be? So when the world falls apart, when my Dad dies unexpectedly, when Korea shoots missiles, when… (fill in the blank from your own life)… happens, let’s take a lesson from Romans 11. We do not have to know why something happens.
And, verse 36 guides us:
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” ~Romans 11:36
Everything happens from him, through him, and for him for his own glory. He is not taken back by our world or our comings and goings. Take heart, this is the God we serve.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
The very God who calls each star by name is the same God who holds our lives in His hands. We can rest in this truth and trust Him completely.