Week of February 24 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: Romans 11:7-8

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    eyes that would not see
    and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.” 

Reflect: How does the idea of “elect” in verse 7 (and the “remnant chosen by grace” in verse 5) strike you? How does it show that our inclusion among God’s people is entirely the result of grace?

Consider: The longing for righteousness based on personal merit is deeply embedded in human nature. It is not that people wish to live exemplary lives because that is the right thing to do but that such conduct is thought to provide the basis for commendation when compared with the achievements of others. When an absolute standard is removed, the goal is more readily achieved.3

Respond: What is the Old Testament foundation for God’s hardening and blinding people toward His revelation that Paul gives in verses 7-8? (see Deut 29:4; Is 29:10)

3 Robert H. Mounce, Romans, vol. 27, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 216.