The burden of these last three chapters of Romans has been the question of whether God has rejected His people Israel. It is both humbling and wonderfully assuring to know that God's gifts and call are irrevocable. Even Israel for all its unbelief is not without hope. In whatever way we come to understand the phrase 'so all Israel will be saved' it is clear that God is sovereign over our very disobedience -including the hard hardheartedness of Israel in rejecting their very own Messiah - to bring us and them to see our utter need of God's immense mercy. In fact it is as a result of God's mercy to us that the eyes of Israel are opened. The mystery of how Israel is saved then is not so much a matter of speculation for those interested in mapping out the events at the end of history as it is a matter of being astonished at the depths and riches of God's wisdom and knowledge that are now revealed in the way His mercy comes to us all.
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.