What If God?

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

25 As He says also in Hosea:

“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.
28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”

29 And as Isaiah said before:

“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And we would have been made like Gomorrah.” — Romans 9:22-29.

Paul then enters a hypothetical argument which underlines that, if God wanted to make vessels for destruction, it would be His right so to do. This supposition is not put forward as a fact, but to demonstrate that God’s sovereign right negates the questioning objection of anyone who wishes to argue with what God does or plans. His sovereignty, in fact, causes Him to call non-generic Israelites to be His people—those who are not Israelites after the flesh—who nevertheless shall be called ‘sons of the living God’. His sovereignty also decrees that though Israel as a nation rejects Him, a remnant will be saved. Otherwise they would all have been destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah. The basic supposition is that God can do what He chooses, though in practice He will respond in compassion and mercy to those who, by His grace, call upon Him for that mercy. [Source: The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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