Hard Truth, Part 1
Today and tomorrow we will take a look at Romans 9:14-29 with a look at the first five verses today. As Paul begins to explain the mystery of God’s election and God’s plan in our world, that God shows mercy on some and not on others, that God seems to be “unfair” in how He works in this world, we read the following words in verses 14-18: “14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.” That’s a hard truth. God has mercy on whom He wills and whom He wills He hardens. Paul takes his reader back to God’s dealing with Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. God is said to have hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that God could show His glory. The hard truth that we need to believe and receive, even though we don’t really understand, is that God works in this world in ways that we do not understand. Some will then take their lack of understanding and project something “evil” toward God; as Paul writes here, “Is there unrighteousness with God?” The obvious answer to that question is “No”. There is no unrighteousness with God. However, it sure appears that there is…or at least indifference with God. Why was your soul placed in a body that was born in affluent America instead of Nepal or Afghanistan? Why has almost everyone reading this been afforded multiple opportunities to hear God’s word and experience His teaching and church and billions were not? I can’t explain that but I also can’t ignore it. I trust in the character and nature of God as revealed in the Bible. We will talk more on this tomorrow but I encourage you that when you come up against a hard truth, you don’t ignore the truth. Yes, it’s hard…it’s difficult to comprehend…but if God is who He has revealed Himself to be, then I think He’ll sort it all out in the end. Tune in tomorrow for more on this thought.