In Romans Chapters 9 to 11, Paul goes to great lengths to explain what happened to Israel; he was continually in prayer for the Israelites; “whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises” (Romans 9:4).
His purpose was to warn the followers of Christ against that which happened to Israel, as their hearts were hardened and they fell into apostasy. His passion for Israel was such that he told the Romans that, “I could wish myself accursed from Christ.” (Romans 9:3) if only that meant that they would be saved.
Paul found joy in his intercession for Israel, for it brought him near to the heart of God, who has never ceased to yearn after His lost and wandering people. Also his prayers were informed by a deep understanding of the purposes of God towards His chosen people, which is to yet make them the channel of blessing to the entire world that they were meant to be.
Paul was the one to whom God revealed the mystery of the blindness of Israel, (Romans 11:25) and he is desperate to make Christ’s followers learn the lessons of Israel’s apostasy and to vindicate God’s judgement upon them.
Our study of these chapters will give us enlarged views of the character of God and a more intimate understanding of His ways; for the believer, there can be no greater gain.
There are two men in the history of Israel who stand nearest to Christ for their willingness to sacrifice themselves for their people; one was Moses, who after the idolatry of Israel with the golden calf, said to God; “Yet now, if you will, forgive their sin, and if not, blot me I pray out of the Book which you have written” (Exodus 32:32). The other was Paul, who said; “I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3).
As we observe the unfolding of God’s ways in Israel’s history, we too, will be able to cry out, with Paul:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33).