What if God chose to show his great anger? What if he chose to make his power known? But he put up with the people he was angry with. They were made to be destroyed. What if he put up with them to show the riches of his glory to other people? Those other people are the ones he shows his mercy to. He made them to receive his glory. We are those people. He has chosen us. We do not come only from the Jewish race. Many of us are not Jews. God says in Hosea,
“I will call those who are not my people ‘my people.’
I will call the one who is not my loved one ‘my loved one.’ ” (Hosea 2:23)
He also says,
“Once it was said to them,
‘You are not my people.’
In that very place they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” (Hosea 1:10)
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel. He says,
“The number of people from Israel may be like the sand by the sea.
But only a few of them will be saved.
The Lord will carry out his sentence.
He will be quick to carry it out on earth, once and for all.” (Isaiah 10:22,23)
Earlier Isaiah had said,
“The Lord who rules over all
left us children and grandchildren.
If he hadn’t, we would have become like Sodom.
We would have been like Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9)
Israel Does Not Believe
What should we say then? Gentiles did not look for a way to be right with God. But they found it by having faith. The people of Israel tried to obey the law to make themselves right with God. But they didn’t reach their goal of being right with God. Why not? Because they tried to do it without faith. They tried to be right with God by what they did. They tripped over the stone that causes people to trip and fall. It is written,
Brothers and sisters, with all my heart I long for the people of Israel to be saved. I pray to God for them. I can tell you for certain that they really want to serve God. But how they are trying to do it is not based on knowledge. They didn’t know that God’s power makes people right with himself. They tried to get right with God in their own way. They didn’t do it in God’s way. Christ has fulfilled everything the law was meant to do. So now everyone who believes can be right with God.