Sunday: Romans 9:32, 33
vs32-33 (continued): Isaiah also used the image of a stone in two different passages which Paul blends together to form the quote in verse 33. He starts with Isaiah 28:16 which reads in full: Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes
will not be disturbed (Hebrew: will not hurry, meaning to flee before invading armies). After using only the first few words of this passage (Behold, I lay in Zion
) Paul inserts a portion from Isaiah 8:14, 15 which reads in full: Then He shall become a sanctuary and a stone of stumbling and a rock of falling to the two houses of Israel (northern and southern kingdoms) and a trap and a snare to the dweller of Jerusalem. Many among them will stumble and fall and be broken and be snared and be taken (literal).
Monday: Romans 9:32, 33
vs32-33 (continued): From these two verses (Isa 8:14, 15) he selects only the phrases a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (falling). Then he concludes by returning to the final statement in Isaiah 28:16 (using the Greek Septuagint translation). His selection of these three portions is virtually a sermon in itself. The first statement (Behold, I lay in Zion
) tells us that God intended to test Israel when He sent the Messiah. He placed Him in Zion. The word Zion ultimately speaks of the Temple which was the central location for Israels worship. The second (a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense) tells us many would fail the test.
Tuesday: Romans 9:32, 33
vs32-33 (continued): And finally the third (And he who believes [in Him] will not be disappointed) tells us some would believe and their faith would give them the eternal life for which they longed. By placing these statements side-by-side Paul wants us to see that Israels response to Jesus (both acceptance and rejection) had been prophesied. Hes explaining that the Word of God (the gospel) had not failed (v6) but had succeeded. It was testing Israel just as God had intended. vs32-33 (continued): Before we leave this discussion of Jesus as the stone we should recall that Peter used Psalm 118:22 to challenge the priests and Sadducees after they arrested Him for healing a lame man and preaching that Jesus had been resurrected. He told them Jesus,
is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone (Ac 4:11). He also quoted the same passages Paul uses (Ps 118:22; Isa 8:14; 28:16) in his first letter (1Pe 2:6-8). Clearly the concepts of Jesus as the cornerstone and stumbling stone were deeply embedded in the thinking of the early church.
Wednesday: Romans 10:1
v1: We must not miss the implications of Pauls statement in this verse. In spite of people refusing to believe and in spite of their hostile persecution of those who tried to preach the gospel to them, Paul says he continued to deeply desire and pray that his opponents would be saved. What is so significant here is that he clearly does not see their present spiritual condition as irreversible. They may not be children of the promise (v8), they may have been hardened by God (v18), they may at that point in time be vessels of wrath prepared for destruction (v22), but Paul still prayed for their salvation.
Thursday: Romans 10:1
v1 (continued): This means that none of the terrible conditions just described meant that someone would necessarily be lost. As long as they were alive Paul considered it worthwhile to keep praying for them (Ro 11:23). Repentance and faith were still possible. Being hardened or designated a vessel of wrath need not be permanent. Even in these extreme conditions the human will could still respond to God. If no change of heart were possible, surely Paul would not have longed and prayed for it (1Jn 5:16, 17 I believe Johns statement here refers to blatant apostasy by a believer [also: Heb 6:4-9; 10:29]; this is different than the stubborn unbelief in an unbeliever).
Friday: Romans 10:2
v2: Why were so many Jews rejecting the gospel? The problem for most Paul says was misguided zeal, not a lack of zeal. He, himself, had made this error. He had tried to earn Gods favor by attempting to obey all the requirements of the Law, and even by persecuting the church. This explains why he says he is able to witness to the problem not just identify it in others. He had been deeply afflicted with it himself (Ac 22:1-5; Php 3:4-6; 1Ti 1:12, 13).
Saturday: Romans 10:3
v3: Paul explains that those who stumbled over the stumbling stone were people who wrongly assumed they could earn eternal life by zealously trying to obey the rules in Gods Law. He says that by choosing that path they refused to take the path that truly leads to salvation. He says they sought to establish their own righteousness and in doing so did not submit themselves to Gods plan for salvation (Ro 3:21-24; 5:1; 8:28-30), which is to give righteousness to those who repent and believe in His Son.