Scripture to Memorize: Exodus 19:6
and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
Day 1 Read: Romans 9:1-5
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
Reflect: What is the source of Paul’s anguish? How does he express his deep concern for the people of Israel?
Consider: Paul is so struck at the end of chapter 8 with the powerful and protecting love of God—and the fact that most of Israel has not experienced that love making it seem as if God had not kept his promises to Israel—that his love for his nation bursts out in a display of brokenness that would shame most who claim to have a “burden for the lost.” Fearing it may appear that he has no concern for the lost condition of most Jews in light of God’s sovereign oversight of salvation, he confesses his sorrow and unceasing anguish over Israel’s spiritual condition. His concern is not sentimental, traditional, or fleshly—rather, it is a concern validated by the Holy Spirit. Paul demonstrates the valid role that the conscience can play in the spiritual life when it has been shaped and disciplined in spiritual maturity (Heb. 5:14).1
Respond: Who have you known who shared a similar anguish for a specific people group? How did that shape their life?
1 Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 278.