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Romans 9:6-9


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

It's been a little while since I did the last installment in Romans. Things have been hectic around here, between the holiday, the boys coming into town, the farm, et al.

 

Some things are slowly falling into place, and after living for so long with way too much up in the air, my heart feels a sense of gratitude for Your faithfulness through it all.

 

While I talk and pray with You throughout my days, I've missed doing this Romans study. Several times over the last few days, I was resolved to get it done, only to have the day fly with issues that needed addressing. Today, I got my morning chores done in a timely manner and here I sit while it is pouring rain outside, and my heart feels needy...needy for You and Your Word.

 

So Father God, please bless this study this day. I have no idea what will unfold in the next 4 verses, but You do.

 

I love You and I need You in every area of my life. The days of holding back have slipped away somehow. I marvel at the work You have done thus far, in a strong, independent, headstrung girl like me.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

6. But it is not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel;

 

7. Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

 

8. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.

 

9. For this is a word of promise, according to this season will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

 

In the 6th verse, Watchman Nee comments on the words "they are not all", and writes: "This shows God's economy in His selection. All Jews are born of Israel, but not all of them have been selected by God. Only Isaac and a part of his descendants have been selected by God and reckoned as the children of God (vv. 7-8). This selection is not of man's works but of the Lord who calls and of His mercy (vv. 11, 16)."

 

The rvbv writes:

 

"The great revealed truth of the sovereignty of God perplexes many, disturbs others, and some take occasion to stumble at it.

 

Verse 6: But it is not as though the word of God hath come to nought - Paul here refers to those great promises God had made to Abraham, then to Isaac, then to Jacob; conferring blessing upon their seed, announcing Himself as God of Israel, giving them by oath the land of Palestine, placing in David's line the promise of perpetual royalty on earth; prophesying a great and glorious future for Israel, not only in the coming Millennium, or 1000 years kingdom here, but in the new earth which follows that (Isa. 66:22). Pal's immediate explanation (for it looked as if these Divine promises had lapsed) was that not all that are of Israel are really Israel before God.

 

Verse 7: Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall they seed be called. I know, said our Lord, that ye are Abraham's descendants; but if you were Abraham's children you would do the works of Abraham. "If God were your Father, ye would love Me. Ye are of your father the devil" (John 8:37 to 44). To regard religious privilege as spiritual reality is the very deadliest delusion. The real sons of Abraham are defined in Galatians 3:7: "Know therefore, that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham." However, in the present passage, the point is not that Abraham's real children are those that believe, but that Divine sovereign calling lies behind all. As God said to Abraham concerning Ishmael, "Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold I have blessed him and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year" (Gen. 17:19-21). The direct quotation is from Genesis 21:12, when Ishmael was cast out. "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." This is Divine sovereign action. Now Paul explains it:

 

Verse 8: That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed. What does the apostle mean by "The children of the promise are reckoned for a seed"? It is most necessary that we perceive that Paul is speaking here, not of man's believing a promise and therefore being written down as one of God's children; but on the contrary, of the promise (of God to Christ) that characterizes the existence and calling of all the real children of God. He expounds this in the next verse.

 

Verse 9: For this is a word of promise, According to this season will I come, and Sarah shall have a son - The quotation is from Genesis 18:10. Read the connection there carefully. Isaac, the coming child, did not believe the promise in order to be born! But, God promised Isaac to Abraham, and kept His promise by a miracle. When Isaac was born, therefore, he was a child of promise, - a promised child, in God's sovereign will."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I love Your Word. I never read the Bible much (just spurts here and there), and so the last 2 years, between the Ephesians study and this Romans study, I can see how critical it is to spend time in Your Word. I have grown over the past couple of years, I think partly because of the work You are doing in my life, partly because of the time I spend in prayer, partly because of the prayers that others have prayed over me, but also because of the time I've spent reading Your word, desiring to learn and grow. You have been faithful to that heart desire of mine, and it amazes me the benefit and value I've received because of it.

 

I want to share, in this prayer, something I recently read in a book I have called "Journal of the Unknown Prophet". I can't get this chapter out of my mind, so I just want to share it here because it fills my heart:

 

"The throne room was huge, so huge that it seemed infinite. And as the music of heaven played, hundreds of millions of people gathered. The people never stopped coming - incessant and infinite, radiant with joy, clothed in white garments. They had followed the Lamb faithfully throughout their time on earth, through the fire and the furnace and yet stayed their course, and now the old order was passed away, and behold, the new was come.

 

The throne room was filled with those from every tribe and every tongue, with those who had laid down their lives and taken up their cross and followed Him. Those who had served Him when even they were bare and dry and had clung on by faith to their great hope of His glorious appearing.

 

And now as one they waited in this huge amphitheatre-like throne room, waiting for the Glorious One, the Lamb of God whom they had served all their lives, whom they had seen by the eyes of their spirit, whom they had glimpsed often so fleetingly only through a glass darkly. Fraught with their own humanities and failings, with their own personal set of weaknesses and hindrances that so easily beset them - but here none of this counted, O beautiful child of God, for here it was all things new. For here there was no weeping or crying, for the old order of things had passed away and all things had become new. And they waitied - as one and yes, as millions, they waited.

 

Even as one would wait for the entrance of the most powerful and esteemed regent on Earth, so they waited. And it was unimaginable and indescribable the moment when the Great King of Heaven began His walk up the great nave of Heaven's throne room.

 

And so they all stood still like stone on either side of the nave that seemed to stretch to infinity - in marvel and in awe and in complete wonder - that they had made it in, that everything that they had lived for on Earth that they had believed to be by the eyes of their spirit, was now before them in total reality.

 

And as the Great King of Heaven walked, so slowly, in such majesty and glory, His face and His attention were totally riveted on the One who sat beyond...far beyond...who dwelt in flaming iridescent light beyond the nave, at the top of the throne room.

 

And yet, as the King passed by, it was as though each one of these who had spent their years on earth serving Him faithfully had His personal, complete adoring attention. And He would stop, and I saw Him turn and look deeply, oh, so deeply, into the one's eyes. As He looked, beloved, as He looked upon them, so they wept. They wept with the total embracing from Him of all they were and of all the Father had created them to be before the machinations of the Fall.

 

And to some He would weep and gather them to His bosom and hold them close, so close. And it was a holy moment in eternity.

 

And then, to others, I saw Him start to laugh with the irrepressible intense and overflowing joy and laughter of Heaven, and so, too, their weeping at the wonder and the awe of Him was turned in a moment to the intense joy of being fully understood and embrased.

 

In the incredible knowledge of being fully known by Him and yet loved more even than a mother, even as a babe in arms, so tender was His love for them. And so He would hold their hands and smile with joy unimaginable and reach out to each as He walked by and as they clung to Him. And O dearest child of God, still they felt His touch linger as He continued His walk. And for each one that He passed, it was as though it was only He and them in the entire throne room.

 

For they only saw Him and He only saw them. And so it was with each of the millions of His beloved.

 

As He walked up the nave I sensed that He was saying, "Thank you, thank you," to each who had stood for Him - even in the darkest times when they had been so weak. And as He held them and as they clung to Him, He was saying, "Thank you. Well done, good and faithful servant. You who stood for Me while so much was dark and unseeen and when, at so many times, all the glory of Heaven seemed so far away and My presence seemed hidden from your sight. Still you kept faith; still you stood strong. Even when your limbs were weary and when your soul was overwhelmed with the stresses and the pressures of earth, still you stood for Me. Still you preached My Gospel. Thank you," He would whisper.

 

And as He continued to walk down the nave toward His Father, all those that He had passed and touched - and, child of God, not one was left out from His touch and from His attention - so all looked after Him with such adoration and with such a terrible, indescribable yearning.

 

Then I saw Him turn His head back to them. He was as a lover who cannot bear to leave His beloved alone even for a moment. His yearning was so terrible for them also, for each was to Him His bride.

 

And so, as little children, they were comforted. Then once again I saw His face shine with the pure joy of gazing upon His father's face and glory. And so He continued to walk toward the Great Throne of Light. Somehow I knew that each one of these was His great gift to His Father, that each one had been saved from the clutches of sin and damnation by the unsurpassable sacrifice of the Holy Son of God, the splendid Lamb of God, back into the Father's hands.

 

And then the Father stood, His hands outstretched toward the Son. Oh, and the Son could hardly walk for the intense glory emanating from the Father - the glory and the power and the joy, and the joy and wonder and awesome thickness of the mantle of His glory. His glory began to fall across the throne room, and all the faces were closed eyes in rapture, their hands outstretched as the Son in all His glory walked toward the Father, and they became as one.

 

This is what we live for on earth, beloved.

 

This is why we stand."

 

Keep us safe until that day Father God.

 

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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