"As He says also in Hosea"
Paul quotes from Hosea
concerning the rejection and restoration of
(See also Hosea
The context of Hosea
Hosea prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel prior to its fall to
Assyria in 722 B.C. He was told to marry a harlot (Gomer) who typifies
the spiritual adultery of the nation. God instructs Hosea to prophetically
name the children as an indication of how God will respond to Israel.
A son named
"God will scatter / sow."
A daughter named
"not have mercy."
Another son named
"not the people of Me."
The people who are said to be
"not My people"
The Message of Hosea
God is emphasizing his
for Israel, even in the face of her spiritual adultery. His promise
of restoration is completely compatible with Paul's teaching in
Romans 9-11 that Israel has merely
and has not been cast away
( Rom. 11:1 )
9:26 - Sons of the Living God
"You are not My people"
Paul quotes Hosea
(See the passage:
The context of Hosea matches Ezekiel
The context of Hosea concerns
the rejection and restoration of
. Elements of Hosea's passage
( Hos. 1:11 )
match what Ezekiel reveals concerning the
restoration of Israel during the Millennial Kingdom:
The northern and southern kingdom will be joined
( Eze. 37:15-28 )
They will have a single ruler
( Eze. 37:22-24 )
They shall be God's people
( Eze. 37:23 )
In the day of Jezreel
Hosea establishes the time when this restoration will occur: in the
Jezreel is the name of Hosea's first child and is used in two
Israel among the nations in her disobedience.
Israel back in her own land in eventual restoration.
9:27 - A Remnant Saved
"Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel"
Paul now quotes Isaiah
in support of the same theme. Isaiah compares Israel in number to
"the sand of the sea"
which is also mentioned by Hosea
The emphasis is on a comparison between what once was a large number, but
what will eventually be only a remnant.
"The remnant will be saved"
The reality that many among Israel would reject Messiah Jesus, but that a
remnant would be preserved by God is a major them of Paul's teaching in
Romans 9-11. Paul is quoting these OT prophets to show that this was
all part of God's plan
and driven by His
(See the similar theme in
which was written primarily to Jewish Christians.)
The True Israel
The elect remnant of Jewish believers are the
true Israel, the
Israel of God
whom Paul distinguished from the mass of unbelieving Jews in
of the OT promises made to Israel
(e.g., promised land, throne of David, restoration of Jerusalem)
are preserved in the believing Jewish remnant according to God's election
( Rom. 11:5 )
9:28 - A Short Work
"He will finish the work"
LOgon, which can be translated as
"while bringing to an end / close."
God will carry out His Word, His predicted work--that which He
prophesied concerning the
"and cut it short"
The original passage
( Isa. 10:21-23 )
"The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the
Lord God of hosts will make a
in the midst of the land."
There will destruction, but not a complete destruction of Israel.
God will set a
to the destruction so as to preserve His elect remnant.
This recalls the words of Jesus:
"And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened"
( Mat. 24:22 )
9:29 - A Seed Left
"Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed"
sperma , a life-giving start.
In the original OT passage
( Isa. 1:9 )
, the word is
The seed is a
survivor from a great slaughter
The emphasis is on preservation from the midst of a great destruction.
This is the time of Jacob's trouble
( Jer. 30:7 )
which precedes Israel's final restoration.
9:30 - The Righteousness of Faith
"Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness"
The Gentiles (or
) did not have the Law of Moses and were not seeking to attain
righteousness by it.
"have attained righteousness, even the righteousness of faith"
Gentiles attained righteousness by a different means than the Law --
Faith is the
by which righteousness is attributed to the Gentiles
9:31-32 - The Law of Righteousness
Throughout Romans 9-11, Paul is continually contrasting those from Israel
who rejected salvation with those from among the nations (Gentiles) who
found salvation by faith. The temporary and partial casting away of Israel
was part of God's plan to bring salvation to the Gentiles
( Rom. 11:15 )
"they did not seek it by faith . . . but by the works of the law"
Israel became so enamored with the Law of Moses that she mistook the Law
as a means of obtaining righteousness. The Law was a means of
, but was never able to provide salvation--because man was unable
to keep it
). The only exception was Jesus Who fulfilled the Law
9:33 - A Stumbling Stone
"I lay in Zion a stumbling stone"
The stumbling stone is a
. He is
"the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel"
( Gen. 49:24 )
. The Old Testament has many passages which refer to God as a
Here, Paul cites
Both Peter and Jesus indicate that this is the
"rejected by the builders"
Who was rejected by
the religious leaders of Israel.
"whoever believes . . . will not be put to shame"
In the end, those who trust in the stumbling stone will prove to have
made a sound investment--they will be vindicated. Their trust will not
have been futile and vain. In the passage Paul quotes,
( Isa. 28:16 )
the phrase rendered here as
"put to shame"
is the word
chush which can be translated as:
The majority among Israel failed to trust in the rock. They were offended
by Him. Having rejected Jesus,
they are the
"not all Israel who are of Israel"
( Rom. 9:6 )
Others among Israel trust in Messiah Jesus--these form the elect remnant
according to God's grace, the true Israel.
"Not My people" refers to Israel, not Gentiles
- The OT prophets foresaw a period of time when Israel would no longer be
considered God's people, but also a time afterwards when Israel would
once again be
God's Unconditional Love for Israel
- Many in the church today embrace the first part of these OT prophecies
(the rejection of Israel) and fail to account for the subsequent
restoration of Israel. They deny the meaning of the original context and
interpret the passages
as applying to the Gentiles.
Denying God's restoration of Israel
is a serious matter since it distorts God's character by denying His
unconditional love and electing purpose for Israel. The salvation of NT
believers is only as sure as God's fulfillment of existing OT promises to
Israel. We can take great comfort in the security of knowing He will
Context versus Application
- We need to recognize the original context of any passage as
the actual meaning. After we understand the meaning of
the original passage,
then and only then
are we in a position to make a related application from the
principles taught by the passage.
Paul quotes the OT concerning the election, rejection, and
restoration of Israel, not the Gentiles.
The principle of
those who are not God's people becoming God's people is an
which can be made to the Gentiles who attained the righteousness of
faith which most in Israel missed.
Self-Righteousness is No Righteousness
- Overemphasis on righteous works can blind us to the true means of
salvation which is only found in the completed work of Jesus on the
cross. This can never be earned or appropriated by works--only by faith.
When we mix our own efforts into salvation, we undermine the true
gospel and count the perfect work of Christ as incomplete.
Like Israel who rejected Messiah Jesus at His first coming,
those who trust in their own righteousness will be crushed