God’s Faithfulness and Wisdom
Today’s reading: Psalm 88-89; Romans 10
30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, 31 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, 33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness. Psalm 89:30-33
20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” Romans 10:20-21
God’s wisdom reveals His ways of showing grace to those who are hopelessly lost, while holding under discipline those who know better but refuse to believe and obey Him.
The Psalmist laments deeply the loss to Israel of God’s apparent abandonment of His people. He reasons that God’s covenant with David was to maintain his offspring on the throne forever, conditional on the obedience of his descendents. Clearly the conditions were not met. David’s descendents were a sorry lot, for the most part. After Solomon, the kingdom was divided and Rehoboam ruled over Judah alone. Idolatry became the norm in both Judah and Israel. Eventually both kingdoms were defeated and overrun. The people were taken into captivity.
But God had promised “not to remove from [David] my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.” How would God keep the Davidic line alive while punishing the rebellion of the kings in that line? What did His promise really mean?
As we know from the New Testament, God sent His Son through the Virgin Mary of the line of David to be the King forever. Jesus was also called the “Lamb of God.” He took away the sins of the world. He became the High Priest, whose offering was perfect never requiring another.
Paul longs for Israel to recognize their Messiah, Jesus, who is their King and High Priest. In another surprising move by God, the gospel had been sent to the Gentiles, and they believed it. Yet this move was, in part, to make Israel jealous of the blessing they would miss. And Isaiah had foretold this strategy, as Paul points out. Ironically, those who sought to be righteous by their own efforts, the Jews, did not obtain it, while those who did not seek to be righteous, the Gentiles, found true justification by faith in Jesus. Praise God that His ways are not our ways.