Paul in examining if the message of the Gospel has reached Israel, offered up four questions and we take up our notes now to examine the third: It’s not is it, that they have stumbled so as to fall? (Rom 11:11)
“So fine, we were hardened so we stumbled so that we couldn’t believe and thus be ultimately cast offâ€”is that what you’re saying Paul?”
The original question demands the negative: they did NOT stumble so as to fall. But their stumbling was to make the Gospel available to the Gentiles and then to provoke the Jews to be jealous.
Their stumbling brought riches to the world, brought salvation to a foreign peopleâ€”how much more will the salvation of all of them (for that is what the full number means) bring to the rest of the world? How much greater will that be for everyone?
For you see, Paul’s point is that although they did stumble, because God had partially hardened them in unbelief, it wasn’t for the end goal of making sure they were damned to hell and cast offâ€”but rather so that the entire world can reap the benefits of His awesome salvation.
All in all, Paul examines this as a group: Elect Israel was partially hardened so that the Gospel could go out to the entire world of UnElect Gentiles and finally in the end, Elect Israel as a Whole will believe bringing unimaginable riches (not in finances) to the entire world.
All of Israel will be saved just as it is written (11:26) and although the unbelieving Israel is currently (in regards to the gospel) enemies but according to God’s election they are loved because God’s gracious gifts are irrevocable.
Jews and Gentiles both stand on God’s mercy: both elect and unelect (categories which our Christian theologies have forced to mean unconditionally saved before the foundation of the world and unconditionally damned before the foundation of the world) stand on God’s mercy.
The truth of the matter is that God has shut everyone up as disobedient so that H could show mercy to all.
It’s no wonder that Paul can collapse into adoration and wonder at the depth of God’s riches and His unfathomable wisdom, unsearchable judgments and untraceable waysâ€”for no one can know the mind of God who has conceived such a plan whereby all, and I mean all, can be saved.