“A time is coming…when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23).
As I read and reflected on Romans chapters 9-11 I felt they could be outlined in a number of ways. A title could be: The Sovereign Rule of God in Redemption. This theme is developed by showing God’s perspective in chapter 9, man’s perspective in chapter 10, and how it all comes together in spite of being what to us might be a somewhat confusing conundrum in chapter 11.
In chapter 9 you find why only some believe God’s message. In chapter 10 Paul describes the faith journey of those who believe God’s message. In chapter 11 Paul shows how redemption came to the Gentile world as a result of Israel’s rejection of God’s plan. He also points out that as the rest of the story unfolds we will see Israel returning to God and His salvation.
To us the story gets pretty confusing. But with God it is a creative strategy that goes beyond the conundrum we see in it. In fact, Paul gets so caught up in what he is trying to convey he is captivated by the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. This causes him to burst forth in the following doxology of praise and worship:
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).
True worship is to bow and affirm with awe what we do know about God and His ways. It also involves humbly acknowledging what we don’t know.