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Romans 9:14-15


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Heavenly Father,


I'm a little bit stressed this morning as I peer into the needs that have to be attended to today. There is snow coming and there are preparations I need to make with the animals. This week has been a flurry of activity, running around to accomplish this and that and while I'm grateful to get some things accomplished, I need to get the animals attended to. There's not alot that needs to be done I guess, but I have to drive long distances to get the supplies that I will need. So, the stress is laying on my shoulders this morning but I want, and need to start my day with this study, so here I am Lord.


May You be glorified through the time I spend doing this because my heart seeks to honor You.


In Jesus Name I pray,



14. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Far be the thought!


15. For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.


The rvbv writes, "We have now come upon that passage of Scripture against which the human mind - or rather heart, rebels most of all. For it sets the creature as he really is before God; not, indeed, as an automaton, nor in fatalistic compulsion, - otherwise there were no morals, and no appeal in the gospel.


Nevertheless, it will be our only safe path to receive just as God writes it down, the truth we find here.


Verses 14, 15: We have only to remember the circumstances under which God thus spoke to Moses, to see the righteousness of God's sovereignty in mercy. There had been the awful breach at Sinai: Israel had "changed their glory for the likeness of an ox that eateth grass." The eternal ineffably glorious Jehovah in His indignation had said to Moses: "Let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation" (Ex. 32:10). Moses pleades for the people, and the next day offers, if God will forgive them, to be himself blotted out of God's book! He said to the people: "I will go up unto Jehovah; peradventure I shall make atonement for your sin" (Ex 32:30). Forty days and forty nights this devoted man lay on his face interceding for Israel, and God brought about, as we know, Moses' mediatorship for Israel. (Study carefully Ex. 33 and 34: especially 33:12-17; 34:1,27,28,32.) God shows Moses himself favor; and finally extends it to all the people. And note, it is in this connection, and under these circumstances, and in answer to the personal request of His beloved servant: "Show me, I pray thee, thy glory," that Jehovah says, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy" (Ex. 33:18,19).


Now who can find fault with that? Unless Jehovah shows mercy, Israel must all righteously perish. There was no resource left in man! God, whose name is Love, must come out to man and come in mercy, or all is over! And here we earnestly ask you to read the remarkable words of Darby:


"Here the apostle shows Israel from their own history that they must leave God to His sovereignty or else they must lose their promises; and then that in the exercise of this sovereignty He will let in the Gentiles, as well as the Jews. If, says Paul, you Israelites will take your promisess by descent, we will just see what comes of it. You say, we be Abraham's seed, and have a right to the promises by descent; for these Gentiles are but dogs, and have no right to share with us in God's promises. Well, if God has His sovereignty, He will in grace let in these Gentile dogs! But now I will prove to you that you cannot take the promises by descent. In the first place, "They are not all Israel which are of Israel"; yet if it is by descent you must take in all Abraham's seed. And if you take in Abraham's children, then you must take in Ishmael - those Arabians! Oh no, say they, we cannot allow that; what! Ishmaelites in the congregation of Israel, and heirs of promise? Yes, if by descent! You must take it by grace; and if it is by grace, God will not confine this grace to you, but will exercise it toward the Gentiles.


"But now, to go further down in your history, you have Jacob and Esau; and if you go by descent, you must let in the Edomites by the same title as yourselves. But in verses 5 and 9, it says, "The children of the promise are counted for the seed": so that it must rest on Isaac and Jacob, and Ismael and Esau remain outside: therefore your mouth must now be closed as to descent, for your mouth is bound up by God's saying, 'Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.' He has chosen, according to His sovereign title, to bless you, and on that alone your blessing depends; as your own history shows, and your own prophetic testimony proves. You cannot rest it on a mere title by descent. But further, see how their (the Jews') mouth is stopped: for when did God say, 'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy'? When every Israelite had lost all title to everything God had to give, then God retreated, if I may use the expression, into His own soverignty, that He might not cut them off.


[see Exodus 33:19, after the great breach made by Israel's worshipping the golden calf, while Moses was standing in the mount with Jehovah!]


"By this act, Israel had forfeited everything; they had cast off the promises, which they had accepted on the condition of their own obedience (Ex. 19:8), and the God who made the promises, and who alone could fulfill them. Could God overlook this sin? Israel had undertaken to have the promises by their obedience; if God had dealt with Israel in righteousness, every one must have been cut off. What could God do, but retreat, as I said, into His own sovereignty? There He had a resource; for if any of them are to be spared, it must be in this way of mercy. 'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.' Man is entirely lost, so now God says, I will act for Myself. Taking a truth in connection with all other truth gives it its right and proper place, and its own Divine force.


"Say now, you Jews, (and you, my reader, ask yourself the question), will you be willing to be dealt with in righteousness? No, you would not! Then do not talk about it, until you can go to God on that footing. But if you have such a conviction of sin as stops your mouth about righteousness, and so excludes all boasting, you will rejoice in the 'mercy' and 'compassion' of God, who retreats into His own sovereignty, that He may know how to spare; because in this sovereignty He can show mercy."


It will accomplish in the heart which weighs it carefully that reconciliation of the sovereignty of God with God's love and grace which is possible alone to faith; and it will also enlighten the mind concerning God's dealings with Israel as recorded in these three great chapters of Romans."


In the 15th verse, Watchman Nee comments on a few words:


"I will have": "This is God's sovereign authority, which allows Him to have mercy on man according to His desire."


"mercy" and "compassion": "Mercy refers mainly to an action taken in response to man's wretched condition; hence, God's showing mercy to man is outward. Compassion, however, refers mainly to an inward feeling that is expressed by groanings and tears; hence, God's having compassion on man is inward. Therefore, compassion is deeper than mercy."



Heavenly Father,


Watchman Nee's notes here at the end of the study in regard to 'mercy and compassion' have really struck me, as I finished up the study. In fact, just pondering his description of compassion, has me in tears, cause I "get it".


We get so full of ourselves sometimes, and then I come in and do one of these studies and I'm catapulted to the reality of exactly who I am, and Who You are, and the truth of all You have done to secure my ability to have a relationship with You through the sufferings of Christ, just really humble me. It's embarassing to think of how 'righteous' I can be at times for a cause I believe in. I take my filthy self righteousness and compare it to Your holy righteousness that is filled with mercy and compassion (unlike mine), and it shuts me up, puts me in tears as I see how harsh I can be, compared to You. I don't know how to explain all this in the written word Father, but You know what I'm trying to say.


Anyway, I love You so very, very much. I just can't believe that You chose to save me.


In Jesus Name I pray,



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