But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
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.19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
Romans chapter 9 is one of the most powerful and profound pieces of scripture in the entire bible. This text helps us understand Israel’s rejection of their God and God’s purpose in allowing this. This entire chapter seems to be dedicated to the sovereignty of God despite the sinful disobedience of man and discusses the merciful will of God. There are several controversial topics that can be drawn out from this chapter specifically vs. 6-20. These topics, such as human responsibility, the benevolence and mercy of God, the doctrine of election etc, have been discussed and written on for centuries past. Some key themes of this passage of scripture include God’s saving promises to Israel, Israel’s rejection of those promises, and the mercy of God. This particular passage flows nicely in this deep theological letter that has affected so many generations. We see some very straightforward and typical Pauline structured statements that we see elsewhere in his many letters, which help Christians interpret other passages in Romans and other letters. The following paper will include a verse-by-verse exposition and exegesis of Romans 9:6-20.
We begin in verse 6 where Paul introduces the idea that the faithfulness of what God has spoken is never in question and his veracity to the Abrahamic covenant remained while describing the fact that not all of Israel is truly saved just by simply being Jewish (verse 7). Paul continues to expound on what the meaning of “through Isaac shall your offspring be named”. We can say the meaning of “named” here means saved or children of promise through Isaac not Ishmael because Isaac was the son of promise (Gen. 21:12). This idea is continued in that Paul says “children of God” again indicating that these are the ones who are saved or truly children of God. Verse 9 discusses the actual original promise of the Abrahamic covenant back in Genesis. The Lord promises Abraham that this time next year a son will be given, this son, which will birth the seed of many nations. He again tells us about the results of this promise through Rebekah in the twins Esau and Jacob. Here the plot thickens as we are introduced to God’s purpose of election and maintaining his faithfulness to the covenant. God’s mercy is certainly on display as Paul asserts that...