Israel has not been cast aside forever. They have sinned, but through their sin God is ushering the Gentiles into salvation. In part, God has done this to make the Israelites jealous, so they would remember their need for Him. Even so, God has worked Israel’s transgression to richly benefit the Gentiles, and He will work to restore Israel to Himself. Imagine how much greater that restoration will be. God’s sovereignty works the sin of man into blessings for the world and for Israel.
Paul quotes one of King David’s psalms (69) against his enemies to liken them to Israel’s enmity toward God (through rebellion in constructing their own righteousness). Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever. The stumbling block (which in this context is Christ, Romans 9:33) is not there for Israel’s destruction. God has allowed Israel to be blind to Jesus. He has allowed them to follow the law (which cannot save anyone) and reject the author of the law, and the person whom the law was intended to reflect: Jesus.
Paul clearly explains that the Jews are in a state of rebellion, but this does not mean it will last forever, they did not stumble so as to fall. By their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, both to provide salvation to all people, and to provoke Israel to desire reconciliation with God (to make them jealous). But, Paul says, since this transgression is bringing riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles (salvation for the Gentiles), and since God is not finished with Israel, we should take comfort in how much better the restoration of Israel will be when the Israelites finally return to God. How much more will their fulfillment be! When Israel is restored, it’s going to be greater than it was before. God has not rejected Israel, and He has rich plans for it, all in His sovereign design (Romans 8:28).
9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”
11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
Check out our other commentaries:
Matthew 26:3-5 meaningMeanwhile the chief priests plot with their high priest, Caiaphas, how and when they will destroy Jesus. They decide it is best to do this......
Hosea 2:6-13 meaningThe LORD describes His judgment on Israel because she goes after other gods. Since Israel credits the fertility gods such as Baal for providing for......
Colossians 1:24-27 meaningPaul further reflects on his own status as a disciple/apostle of Christ and how that affects his message for the Colossians.......
Matthew 13:33-35 meaningJesus compares the kingdom of heaven to leaven hidden in flour resulting in a feast’s worth of bread.......
Matthew 1:3b-4 meaningMatthew cites the generations between Perez, who lived in Canaan prior to moving to Egypt, and Nahshon who was numbered in those coming out of......