Now then, if God shows mercy, and salvation is so near to everyone, and it is brought so undeniably near by the Lord God why is Israel not saved?
Well, Paul pointed out that they must call on the name of the Lord to be saved but one must realize that for someone to call they must have some prerequisites filled out. "They must be chosen before the foundation of the world" someone might say but not Paul.
A person can’t call on someone they haven’t believed. And to believe someone they must have heard them—not about them, but actually them. And for someone to hear them someone must be saying Something. And for someone to say Something they must have been given the mission to go Say.
So this preacher has the wonderful mission of preaching good news and he preaches the good news to the Jews and in that preaching they must hear the Lord speaking and from there they might believe and following that call on Him. There’s the actual steps.
The point Paul is making that for someone to be saved they must have faith and to have faith they must first have heard the word of Christ. That’s it.
Now, has the message gone awry when it comes to the Jew that they don’t believe? Is there a point where we can see the thread broken for Israel and thus find the reason they are not saved lying in some other domain?
Paul proceeds to ask four questions in a form that demands the negative.
Let me unpack that, when we ask questions we can form them in such a way that they are merely questions.
"Are there bears outside the tent?" is an open ended question that can be answered with either a Yes or a No, it’s purely informational and the answer can go either way.
But a person can ask "There aren’t bears outside, are there?" which is formed in a way that demands to be "No, there are no bears outside". Sometimes sneaky people frame their questions like this when they’re being sarcastic or some such, but that is not the case here in Paul’s argument.
- Question 1: It’s not is it, that Israel didn’t hear? (Rom 10:18)
- Question 2: It’s not is it, that Israel didn’t understand? (Rom 10:19)
- Question 3: It’s not is it, that God has rejected His people? (Rom 11:1)
- Question 4: It’s not is it, that they have stumbled so as to fall? (Rom 11:11)
Four questions all asked to demand the negative to prove that God did not falter in his offer of salvation.