Paul’s Anguish Over Israel
1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised!9:5 Or Messiah, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised! Amen.
God’s Sovereign Choice
6It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”9:7 Gen. 21:12 8In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”9:9 Gen. 18:10,14
10Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”9:12 Gen. 25:23 13Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”9:13 Mal. 1:2,3
14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”9:15 Exodus 33:19
16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”9:17 Exodus 9:16 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”9:20 Isaiah 29:16; 45:9 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”9:25 Hosea 2:23
“In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ”9:26 Hosea 1:10
27Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
28For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”9:28 Isaiah 10:22,23 (see Septuagint)
29It is just as Isaiah said previously:
“Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.”9:29 Isaiah 1:9
30What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”9:33 Isaiah 8:14; 28:16
Kuteuliwa Kwa Israeli Na Mungu
19:1 Gal 1:20; 1Tim 2:7; Rum 1:9Ninasema kweli katika Kristo, wala sisemi uongo, dhamiri yangu inanishuhudia katika Roho Mtakatifu. 29:2 Rum 10:1Nina huzuni kuu na uchungu usiokoma moyoni mwangu. 39:3 Kut 32:32; 1Kor 12:3; 16:22; Rum 11:14Kwa maana ningetamani hata mimi nilaaniwe na kutengwa na Kristo kwa ajili ya ndugu zangu hasa, wale walio wa kabila langu kwa jinsi ya mwili, 49:4 Kut 6:7; Kum 7:6; 4:13; Flp 1:12; Za 147:19; Ebr 9:1; Mdo 13:32; Gal 3:16yaani, watu wa Israeli, ambao ndio wenye kule kufanywa wana, ule utukufu wa Mungu, yale maagano, kule kupokea sheria, ibada ya kwenye Hekalu na zile ahadi. 59:5 Mt 1:1-16; Yn 1:1; Kol 2:9; Rum 1:3, 25; 2Kor 11:31Wao ni wa uzao wa mababa wakuu wa kwanza, ambao kutoka kwao Kristo alikuja kwa jinsi ya mwili kama mwanadamu, yeye ambaye ni Mungu aliye juu ya vyote, mwenye kuhimidiwa milele! Amen.
69:6 Rum 2:28, 29; Gal 6:16Si kwamba Neno la Mungu limeshindwa. Kwa maana si kila Mwisraeli ambaye ni wa uzao utokanao na Israeli ni Mwisraeli halisi. 79:7 Mwa 21:12; Ebr 11:18Wala hawakuwi wazao wa Abrahamu kwa sababu wao ni watoto wake, lakini: “Uzao wako utahesabiwa kupitia kwake Isaki.” 89:8 Rum 8:14; Gal 3:16; 4:23Hii ina maana kwamba, si watoto waliozaliwa kimwili walio watoto wa Mungu, bali ni watoto wa ahadi wanaohesabiwa kuwa uzao wa Abrahamu. 99:9 Mwa 18:10; 18:14Kwa maana ahadi yenyewe ilisema, “Nitakurudia tena wakati kama huu, naye Sara atapata mtoto wa kiume.”
109:10 Mwa 25:23; 25:21Wala si hivyo tu, bali pia watoto aliowazaa Rebeka walikuwa na baba huyo huyo mmoja, yaani, baba yetu Isaki. 119:11 Rum 8:28; 9:16; 8:28Lakini, hata kabla hao mapacha hawajazaliwa au kufanya jambo lolote jema au baya, ili kwamba kusudi la Mungu la kuchagua lipate kusimama, 129:12 Mwa 25:23si kwa matendo, bali kwa yeye mwenye kuita, Rebeka aliambiwa, “Yule mkubwa atamtumikia yule mdogo.” 139:13 Mal 1:2-3; Kum 21:15; Mit 13:24; Mt 10:37; Lk 14:26; Yn 12:25Kama vile ilivyoandikwa, “Nimempenda Yakobo, lakini nimemchukia Esau.”
Mungu Hana Upendeleo
149:14 2Nya 19:7; Kum 32:4; Ay 8:3; 34:10; Za 92:15Tuseme nini basi? Je, Mungu ni dhalimu? La, hasha! 159:15 Kut 33:19Kwa maana Mungu alimwambia Mose,
“Nitamrehemu yeye nimrehemuye,
na pia nitamhurumia yeye nimhurumiaye.”
169:16 Efe 2:8; Tit 3:5Kwa hiyo haitegemei kutaka kwa mwanadamu au jitihada, bali hutegemea huruma ya Mungu. 179:17 Kut 14:4; Za 76:10Kwa maana Maandiko yamwambia Farao, “Nilikuinua kwa kusudi hili hasa, ili nipate kuonyesha uweza wangu juu yako, na ili Jina langu lipate kutangazwa duniani yote.”
189:18 Yos 11:20; Rum 11:25Kwa hiyo basi, Mungu humhurumia yeye atakaye kumhurumia na humfanya mgumu yeye atakaye kumfanya mgumu.
199:19 1Kor 15:35; Yos 2:18; 2Sam 16:10; Dan 4:35Basi mtaniambia, “Kama ni hivyo, kwa nini basi bado Mungu anatulaumu? Kwa maana ni nani awezaye kupinga mapenzi yake?” 209:20 Isa 64:8; Yer 18:6; Isa 10:15Lakini, ewe mwanadamu, u nani wewe ushindane na Mungu? “Je, kilichoumbwa chaweza kumwambia yeye aliyekiumba, ‘Kwa nini umeniumba hivi?’ ” 219:21 2Tim 2:20Je, mfinyanzi hana haki ya kufinyanga kutoka bonge moja vyombo vya udongo, vingine kwa matumizi ya heshima na vingine kwa matumizi ya kawaida?
229:22 Rum 2:4Iweje basi, kama Mungu kwa kutaka kuonyesha ghadhabu yake na kufanya uweza wake ujulikane, amevumilia kwa uvumilivu mwingi vile vyombo vya ghadhabu vilivyoandaliwa kwa uharibifu? 239:23 Rum 8:28; 8:30Iweje basi, kama yeye alitenda hivi ili kufanya wingi wa utukufu wake ujulikane kwa vile vyombo vya rehema yake, alivyotangulia kuvitengeneza kwa ajili ya utukufu wake, 249:24 Rum 8:28; 3:29yaani pamoja na sisi, ambao pia alituita, si kutoka kwa Wayahudi peke yao, bali pia kutoka kwa watu wa Mataifa?
Yote Yalitabiriwa Katika Maandiko
259:25 Hos 2:23; 1Pet 2:10Kama vile Mungu asemavyo katika Hosea:
“Nitawaita ‘watu wangu’
wale ambao si watu wangu;
nami nitamwita ‘mpenzi wangu’
yeye ambaye si mpenzi wangu,”
269:26 Hos 1:10; Mt 16:16tena,
“Itakuwa hasa mahali pale walipoambiwa,
‘Ninyi si watu wangu,’
wao wataitwa ‘wana wa Mungu aliye hai.’ ”
279:27 Mwa 22:17; Isa 10:22-23; Hos 1:10; Yoe 2:32; Rum 11:5Isaya anapiga kelele kuhusu Israeli:
“Ingawa idadi ya wana wa Israeli
ni wengi kama mchanga wa pwani,
ni mabaki yao tu watakaookolewa.
28Kwa kuwa Bwana ataitekeleza
hukumu yake duniani kwa haraka
na kwa ukamilifu.”
299:29 Yak 5:4; Isa 1:9; 13:19; Yer 50; 40Ni kama vile alivyotabiri Isaya akisema:
“Kama Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote
tungelikuwa kama Sodoma,
tungelifanana na Gomora.”
Kutokuamini Kwa Israeli
309:30 Flp 3:9; Ebr 11:17Kwa hiyo tuseme nini basi? Kwamba watu wa Mataifa ambao hawakutafuta haki, wamepata haki ile iliyo kwa njia ya imani. 319:31 Isa 51:11; Rum 11:7; Gal 5:4Lakini Israeli, ambao walijitahidi kupata haki kwa njia ya sheria, hawakuipata. 329:32 1Pet 2:8Kwa nini? Kwa sababu hawakuitafuta kwa njia ya imani bali kwa njia ya matendo. Wakajikwaa kwenye lile “jiwe la kukwaza.” 339:33 Isa 8:14; 1Pet 2:6, 8Kama ilivyoandikwa:
“Tazama naweka katika Sayuni jiwe la kukwaza watu
na mwamba wa kuwaangusha.