“As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias (Isaiah) also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:” (Romans 9:25–27, KJV 1900)
My wife and I put together a jigsaw puzzle during the recent stay at home order. In a way, a jigsaw puzzle kind of illustrates our perspective on God’s sovereign plan. We are only able to see one piece of the entire puzzle, while God has the entire picture already predetermined.
Paul has been dealing with God’s sovereignty in this chapter including His infinite foreknowledge and His infinite foreordination. As I already mentioned, in our finite minds we struggle to understand the bigger picture. In verses 25-27, Paul quotes two 8th Century prophets, Hosea and Isaiah that demonstrate the sovereignty of God in His purpose to fulfill the covenant promise that through the seed of Abraham, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
To Hosea, God indicated, that He would call those who were not His people, His people. God had chosen the Israelites as His people, but He states that a time would come when He would call some outside of Israel to be His people, His beloved.
Moreover, to Isaiah, He reveals that only a remnant of Israel would be saved. Consider the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. The nation had often failed in their walk with God. After the nation divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom, Israel, never got it right. In 722 BC they were conquered by the Assyrians and never regained national sovereignty.
The Southern Kingdom, Judah, faired a little better. They had some good kings who led the nation in the right way, but they also had some bad kings that led them into apostasy and idolatry. As a result, Babylon attacked and conquered Judah and led a remnant into captivity at around 605BC. It was God’s eternal plan to preserve this remnant to maintain the Messianic line through which the Messiah Jesus, the seed of Abraham, would come and provide the way of salvation for both Jew and Gentile.
Thus, there shall be a remnant of Jews, who enter the eternal promise by faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross. This remnant of believing Jews and believing Gentiles together “are called the children of the living God”
God used a remnant of His choosing to fulfill His purposes. Today, God still uses a remnant of His choosing for His glorious purposes. Who is the remnant? It is His church, consisting of both Jews and Gentiles who have trusted in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. We are this remnant and we have been entrusted with the message of hope seen in Jesus Christ alone.