But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: "The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world."
But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, "I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles."
And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, "I was found by people who were not looking for Me. I showed Myself to those who were not asking for Me."
But regarding Israel, God said, "All day long I opened My arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious." Rom 10:18-21
Paul next rhetorical questions we will deal with as a package. Have the people of Israel heard the message? Did the people of Israel really understand?
The answer in both cases is a resounding YES. And this is coming from one of Israel’s top students of the law and a Pharisee.
Notice how Paul’s rhetorical questions are sequential.
Has the promise failed?
Is God unfair?
Why are we blamed?
What does this mean?
How can they call, how can they believe, how can they hear?
Well did Israel hear? Did they understand?
Indeed they did hear, the message has gone out to all the earth // to all the world – which includes Israel. Remember the principle is Jew first, then non-Jew. Firstly Psalm 19 deals with general revelation and then the bulk of the rest of the Psalm focuses on the effect of the Word of God. They have had it and know it both ways.
Well did they understand? You bet they did. God is using the Gentiles now to provoke Israel to jealousy in an effort to spur their right reaction. If they didn’t understand they would not have had such an emotional reaction. Their reaction indicates they understood, they just didn’t like the Gentiles being accepted by their God.
Paul tells us in no uncertain terms the problem was / is stubbornness, disobedience and rebellion. “All day long I opened My arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious." This comes from Isaiah 65:1-2. Look at it clearly in the context. It is like God is saying I have warned you and warned you. Now I truly have turned to a people not my own to make you jealous. You want to know why all this is happening , look at yourselves. Paul is still working through the original thought he had back at the end of Romans 8. If nothing can separate from the love of God then what about Israel? It is a big question and requires a full, complete answer.
I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean" G.K. Chesterton
God's unconditional love for me doesn’t mean He approves of everything I think, do, or say. Every parent knows the difference.