In our last visit we began looking at some of the problems Paul describes in Romans 10 that cause people to resist the gospel. He shares his heart concern and prayers for those who have a zeal for God, but with a distorted understanding of the truth. Pride that often accompanies working at being righteous is hard to penetrate.
Paul raises questions about the Israelites in verse 18, “Did they not hear? Of course they did.” Then he quotes Psalm 19:4, “their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” “Their voice” refers to the natural revelation as seen in the heavens. He is actually going back to Romans 1 where he showed that as a result of natural revelation all men are without excuse.
But those about whom he raised the question, “Did they not hear?” are none other than the Israelites who did not accept the good news (verse 16). What Paul is saying is that those who sought to establish their own righteousness and were unwilling to submit to God’s righteousness deliberately closed their eyes to natural revelation and their ears to the gospel. He lets Isaiah describe them by quoting Isaiah 65:2, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
The pride and arrogance of self determination might make us feel as though we’re doing ok, and don’t need anyone else’s help. But if we allow that to happen in our lives we like the Israelites Paul describes will resist submitting to the truth. We’ll be obstinate and disobedient and miss the offer of God’s loving embrace. And that is the worst of all consequences.
Do you wrestle with the issue of pride?