Scripture Reading: Romans 11:11-12 (English Standard Version)
11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.
12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
Thought for the day:
There is a trend among some preachers today to dismiss the Old Testament as irrelevant and unnecessary. They choose to devote their attention to the New Testament alone and state that the writings of the Apostles and the other writers in those 27 books are all we need in our modern society and culture.
Now I agree that there are many, many passages in the Old Testament that are more than difficult to read. In fact there are whole books that pose more questions than answers for us in the 21stcentury. However, when we read our verses today, we cannot fully understand the depth of meaning unless we have a grasp of the Old Testament. If we have read the whole of the Bible, then there are some key words and phrases that should jump out off the page. Isaiah 8 states ‘The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.’Way before the incarnation of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah was issuing a warning to Israel – watch your step and take great care in how you relate to God. Not everything will be as you expect and therefore keep God’s Word close so that you can know how to properly discern what is happening before you. Of course, it’s easy for us to look back and point fingers. However, God had been patient with Israel and throughout many centuries, He sent prophet after prophet telling them what was going to come. Still, they chose to ignore what they were seeing and hardened their hearts against God. The coming of Jesus as Messiah wasn’t with the express intention of condemning Israel. However, God uses their rejection to bring Salvation to the Gentiles. Throughout the New Testament we see this theme over and over: The Gospel of Christ comes to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. Deuteronomy 32:21 says ‘I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.’ The apostle Paul didn’t consider the Old Testament to be irrelevant – he quotes it and uses it to point us to Christ.
Prayer and Application:
If you’ve not done this before, find a good reading plan that includes the Old Testament as well as the New.