We’ve invested the month of September in the deep waters of Romans 9. Admittedly, this has been uncomfortable at best and downright offensive at worst. “Why am I choking on God’s right to be God?” is the constant nagging question that I’ve found gnawing at the corners of my conscious thoughts these days.
I’ve never claimed to be the sharpest crayon in the box and I’ve been accused of possessing an “overly simplistic” hermeneutic. I think that means that I just try to take God’s Word at face value and let it say what it says so… I’m sure that there is a compliment in there somewhere. “If the plain sense makes the most sense then seek no other sense”, I got that one from my pilot friend. I’m a “fruit to root” kind of guy. Let me explain: If you start with the “fruit” and work backwards, you can generally find the root thinking or belief that produced it. The fruit of my time in Romans 9 has been a bit of frustration, choking, and resistance to what seems to be the “plain sense” of Paul’s passionate explanation of the Jewish rejection of their Messiah.
What is at the root of all of that? Could it be that I want to have a say, a part, a role to play? Why is that so important? Then it hit me: Those nagging questions are a test to see If I really am grasping what Paul is communicating. If I am on the right track then the abject control of God should spawn some quality questions. I recently quipped that “Romans 9 was the most fertile chapter in all of the Bible because it gives birth to countless questions!”
Let me encourage you to read Romans 9 three times. Then take the test. What questions did you find yourself asking? If you did not ask the same basic questions that Paul did throughout this passage, then that means that you did not understand what he was saying. But, if you did ask the same basic questions that he did, then that means you did understand what he was saying.
Let me ask you, did you understand what Paul was saying? If so, do you believe it? If not, why not? Are you brave enough to trace your fruit back to it’s root?
Grace & Peace,
Paul J. Dziadul
Pastor, Lake Wildwood Baptist Church