Outstretched Arms (Romans 10:18-21)

But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (Romans 10:21, KJV 1900)

Once I worked for a company in Zurich Switzerland. I set-up and ran their United States office for engineering and field service. A while later, the company decided to have a sales office there also and brought in a General manager and Salesman. The GM was given a company car. When the GM quit, the Managing director in Switzerland asked me if I wanted it. I turned down the offer and he indicated that he would just have to find someone else to give it to.

In verses 18-21, Paul is writing about Israel’s rejection of the Messiah. As I previously mentioned, Israel had heard the message of Christ, foretold by the prophets and through various evidences in His life, death and resurrection. However, while the nation heard, they did not hearken. They turned down the offer, so to speak. Having turned down the offer of the Messiah, God takes the offer to those outside of the nation.

Paul quotes Moses to bring forth this point. “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” (Romans 10:19, KJV 1900) Of course, this was in God’s eternal sovereign plan. He would grant to the Gentiles who were not a nation and were ignorant of the Scriptures that which He had offered to Israel. This He states will provoke Israel. (I’ll come back to this later in Chapter 11.)

Paul further quotes Isaiah to demonstrate the pouring out of God’s sovereign grace to the Gentiles. “But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.” (Romans 10:20, KJV 1900) Isaiah indicated that God would give grace to the believing Gentiles who were not seeking for God and had not asked for Him.

Yet, God has not turned His back on Israel. He chose them for a purpose and brought forth the promise through them. Moreover, He still has a heart for this people. Paul quotes Isaiah again saying, “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” If you study Israel’s history, you will see a tumultuous walk with God. Israel is the bride of God and He was patient with them. He still is patient and waits with outstretched arms for their return.

Pray for Israel. Pray that the Jewish people may have their eyes opened to the truth. Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. He came for them to deliver them from sin and to grant them eternal blessing. Moreover, God is waiting not just for Israel, but for all, both Jew and Gentile, to come to Him by faith.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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