Week of February 3 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: Romans 9:4-5

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 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 advantages did the Jews have? What blessings are listed?

Consider: As Israelites, Paul’s ethnic forbearers had a heritage rich with spiritual blessings (v. 4). Paul listed seven historic prerogatives that God had given to Israel. The privileges of sonship belonged to them. God commanded Moses to tell Pharaoh that Israel was his “firstborn son” (Exod 4:22; cf. Hos 11:1). The splendor of the divine presence (the “shekinah of God”) accompanied them throughout their desert journeys (Exod 13:21; 16:7, 10). God had established covenants with them (Gen 15:18; Exod 19:5) and given them the law (Ps 147:19). The regulations for worship in the temple had been entrusted to them (Heb 9:1). Their sacred literature was rich with the promises of God (e.g., Gen 12:7; Isa 9:6–7). They were descendants of the great patriarchs whose moral authority and influence provided leadership for the Jewish tribes before they became a nation (Rom 9:5). And what’s more, it is from them that the human ancestry of Christ is traced (1:3).3

Respond: What similar blessings do we experience as the church? How should this impact who we are and how we function as a local body? What changes need to be made? How do you need to be a part of that change? In other words, what do you need to do beyond contemplating it during this time of devotion with God?

3 Robert H. Mounce, Romans, vol. 27, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 196.