Summary: The history of Israel’s past, present, and future is given in the Book of Romans chapters 9-11. In Chapter 9 Paul explains Israel’s past election in relation to God’s sovereignty. In chapter 10 he explains Israel’s present rejection in relation to God’s
Concerning the mystery of Israel’s blindness, Paul states: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25). Why is Israel an enemy of the Gospel in this age and blinded in unbelief? Paul answers this by stating that Israel had sought after the "law of righteousness" but had not attained it "because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law, for they stumbled at that stumbling-stone" which is Christ (Rom. 9:31-33).
Jesus was to go first unto His own house, the nation of Israel, "to the Jew first" (Rom. 1:16). John states that Jesus "came unto His own, and his own received Him not" (John 1:11). Therefore, when Jesus was rejected by the rulers of the nation of Israel, He hid the treasure (Israel) again (Matt. 13:44). He later spoke to the chief priests and Pharisees concerning the Gentiles, "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matt. 21:43). Even though He was rejected by His own people, He did not reject them, but paid the ultimate price at Calvary. He sold all He had to pay the redemption price for His treasure Israel.
The history of Israel’s past, present, and future is given in the Book of Romans chapters 9-11. In Chapter 9 Paul explains Israel’s past election in relation to God’s sovereignty. In chapter 10 he explains Israel’s present rejection in relation to God’s righteousness and in chapter 11 Israel’s future restoration as a nation.
I. Israel’s Past Election
In Romans chapter 9 Paul discusses Israel’s past election and the privileges God had given them as His treasure. They include: (1) Israel’s adoption; (2) the glory on Mt. Sinai and the Holy of Holies; (3) the covenants, which included those with Abraham, Moses, and David; (4) the law, which was given to Israel at Mt. Sinai; (5) the service of the tabernacle and priesthood; (6) the promises to Israel concerning the coming kingdom; (7) the fathers of the nation of Israel (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob); and (8) Christ the Son of God, Israel’s Messiah and Redeemer. Yet Israel failed to appreciate her privileges and "stumbled at that stumbling-stone" which was Christ (see 1 Pet. 2:8).
God’s past election of Israel is based upon His sovereignty and whether we agree with His decision or not, God has chosen the nation of Israel to be His "peculiar treasure" (Ex. 19:5). Yet Israel has rejected God’s righteousness and stumbled in unbelief. Israel was to be a light to the other nations, but ultimately failed to realize God’s plans and purposes.
II. Israel’s Present Rejection
In Romans chapter 10 Paul explains Israel’s present setting aside in unbelief due to their "going about to establish their own righteousness" (Rom. 10:3). They failed to realize that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness" (Rom. 10:4). Many professing Christians today are like Israel in that they have a religion, but no relationship. They are trying to establish their salvation on a works basis. Many are just as zealous and just as blind as Israel in relation to the "righteousness which is of faith" (Rom. 10:6).