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ACAD – Rejected: Romans 11

Israel’s Rejection Is Not Final

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.[a]

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

“God gave them a sluggish spirit,
    eyes that would not see
    and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
    a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
    and keep their backs forever bent.”

The Salvation of the Gentiles

So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling[b] salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel[c] jealous. Now if their stumbling[d] means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry in order to make my own people[e] jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead! If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root[f] of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.  You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you.[g] Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And even those of Israel,[h] if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.

All Israel Will Be Saved

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters,[i] I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,

“Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.”
“And this is my covenant with them,
    when I take away their sins.”

As regards the gospel they are enemies of God[j] for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now[k] receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him,
    to receive a gift in return?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.


Footnotes:

  1. a. Romans 11:6 Other ancient authorities add But if it is by works, it is no longer on the basis of grace, otherwise work would no longer be work
  2. b. Romans 11:11 Gk transgression
  3. c. Romans 11:11 Gk them
  4. d. Romans 11:12 Gk transgression
  5. e. Romans 11:14 Gk my flesh
  6. f. Romans 11:17 Other ancient authorities read the richness
  7. g. Romans 11:21 Other ancient authorities read neither will he spare you
  8. h. Romans 11:23 Gk lacks of Israel
  9. i. Romans 11:25 Gk brothers
  10. j. Romans 11:28 Gk lacks of God
  11. k. Romans 11:31 Other ancient authorities lack now


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejection: Psalm 60

Prayer for National Victory after Defeat

To the leader: according to the Lily of the Covenant. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he struggled with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
    you have been angry; now restore us!
You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;
    repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people suffer hard things;
    you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.

You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
    to rally to it out of bowshot.[a]Selah
Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,[b]
    so that those whom you love may be rescued.

God has promised in his sanctuary:[c]
    “With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
    and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet;
    Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin;
    on Edom I hurl my shoe;
    over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

Who will bring me to the fortified city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
Have you not rejected us, O God?
    You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
O grant us help against the foe,
    for human help is worthless.
With God we shall do valiantly;
    it is he who will tread down our foes.


Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 60:4 Gk Syr Jerome: Heb because of the truth
  2. Psalm 60:5 Another reading is me
  3. Psalm 60:6 Or by his holiness


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejected: 1 Samuel 10

Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. Now this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler[a] over his heritage: When you depart from me today you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has stopped worrying about them and is worrying about you, saying: What shall I do about my son?’ Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor; three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from them. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim,[b] at the place where the Philistine garrison is; there, as you come to the town, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the shrine with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre playing in front of them; they will be in a prophetic frenzy. Then the spirit of the Lord will possess you, and you will be in a prophetic frenzy along with them and be turned into a different person. Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you. And you shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me; then I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

Saul Prophesies

As he turned away to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When they were going from there[c] to Gibeah,[d] a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God possessed him, and he fell into a prophetic frenzy along with them. When all who knew him before saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” A man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” When his prophetic frenzy had ended, he went home.[e]

Saul’s uncle said to him and to the boy, “Where did you go?” And he replied, “To seek the donkeys; and when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.” Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” Saul said to his uncle, “He told us that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingship, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything.

Saul Proclaimed King

Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah and said to them,[f] “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, ‘No! but set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.”

Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot. Finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man,[g] and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the Lord, “Did the man come here?”[h] and the Lord said, “See, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” Then they ran and brought him from there. When he took his stand among the people, he was head and shoulders taller than any of them. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people back to their homes.  Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went warriors whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

Now Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the Gadites and the Reubenites. He would gouge out the right eye of each of them and would not grant Israel a deliverer. No one was left of the Israelites across the Jordan whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were seven thousand men who had escaped from the Ammonites and had entered Jabesh-gilead.[i]


Footnotes:

  1. a. 1 Samuel 10:1 Gk: Heb lacks over his people Israel. You shall . . . anointed you ruler
  2. b. 1 Samuel 10:5 Or the Hill of God
  3. c. 1 Samuel 10:10 Gk: Heb they came there
  4. d. 1 Samuel 10:10 Or the hill
  5. e. 1 Samuel 10:13 Cn: Heb he came to the shrine
  6. f. 1 Samuel 10:18 Heb to the people of Israel
  7. h. 1 Samuel 10:21 Gk: Heb lacks Finally . . . man by man
  8. i. 1 Samuel 10:22 Gk: Heb Is there yet a man to come here?
  9. j. 1 Samuel 10:27 Q Ms Compare Josephus, Antiquities VI.v.1 (68–71): MT lacks Now Nahash . . . entered Jabesh-gilead.


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejected: 1 Samuel 8

Israel Demands a King

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel.  The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba.  Yet his sons did not follow in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,  and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.”  But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.  Just as they have done to me,[a] from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle[b] and donkeys, and put them to his work.  He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Israel’s Request for a King Granted

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.” When Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and set a king over them.” Samuel then said to the people of Israel, “Each of you return home.”


Footnotes:

  1. a. 1 Samuel 8:8 Gk: Heb lacks to me
  2. b. 1 Samuel 8:16 Gk: Heb young men

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Are you focused only on what you can get from people?

The man saw Peter and John going into the Temple and asked them for money. Peter and John looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!” The man looked at them, thinking they were going to give him some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold, but I do have something else I can give you. By the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, stand up and walk!” Acts 3:3-6

young_woman_praisingRecently, I realized that all the dead and dying relationships I’ve been writing about for years ended, in the mind of the other parties, because they no longer saw any usefulness in me. They had gotten what they were after or no longer had any interest in what initially brought us together. Some exploded in anger as they exited my life, intent on making me bear the burden of their dissatisfaction with life. Others simply faded away by not answering calls or responding to messages or showing up when asked or needed. However, not one of them had the decency and honesty to simply say, “I no longer want or need anything from you so this is where we part ways.”

I could have understood and appreciated such a direct statement. It would have stung, yes. Perhaps the hurt would have lingered. But I would not have wondered “what happened”, “what did I do”, “how can we make this right”, “I thought we were friends”, “I thought you said you love me”. Such unanswered thoughts are torture to the soul. Such aching questions do more damage than being dismissed by someone you held in your heart as a friend. But honesty should not be expected from selfish people. Selfish people will always and only do what is in their best interests at the expense of their relationship with other people. Being confronted with this world reality repeatedly over the years has not eased the immediate pain of recognizing the end of a relationship. However, the more I have focused on my relationship with my Father God, the Son He gave me as Savior and His Spirit He poured into me, the less time I’ve spent mourning the fruitless relationships I poured myself into.

The first blog post I wrote was titled, “Can I love you?” It was written at the beginning of my intentional walk with my Lord. I pleaded in that post for people to allow me to love them as an expression of God’s love for His creation. In this post, five years later, my message is no different. I still only have love to offer to those who have rejected and will reject my sincere efforts to share the love poured into me with them. I can truly say, my life and the love in me are not diminished by rejection. {That has been an excruciating lesson to experience and learn!} However, the quality of my love has been refined through the many rejections. I’ve learned to offer less of me and more of Christ and with each disappointment I am strengthened in my resolve to remain submitted to God’s will for me in these fleeting relationship interactions.

As I look back over the relationships that have strained and drained me the most, I recognize that those people were not interested in truth, honestly, faith, or love. They weren’t interested in me as a person. They may have talked a talk for a while, but they were only interested in what they could get from me at that particular time. As they rifled through my life scavenging for what they valued, they threw away the most valuable gift I had to offer: the love of God, given as His Son, Jesus, and poured into me as His Spirit.

Related posts:

Can I Love You?

When your love is rejected

It is finished. 

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Podcasts: The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness

 

PODCAST 1: About the Love & Forgiveness

OR  Click here to listen…

PODCAST 2: What I hope Readers will receive from Love & Forgiveness…

OR Click here to listen…

PODCAST 3: Reading — When Your Love is Rejected

OR Click here to listen…

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Bless Your Life

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth:the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself…  ~ 1 John 5:7-10

The blood of Jesus Christ always speaks as the first witness for Believers. You are your second witness. Speak as a witness to your life. Stay in agreement with the Word.

You’ve already been blessed, so very blessed. Walk in your blessings!

“I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”  ~ Genesis 22:16-18

Rejection moves you forward.

So many people are afraid of failure and rejection. I’m not. I don’t actively look for it, but I do actively learn from it. Sometimes pursuing what you want is the best way to find out it’s not what you need. I don’t say that because I didn’t get what I wanted but because my pursuits were rejected I had less distraction to my focus on the things of God. Through the failures and rejections I experienced I have been reminded to subject my will to the will of the Father. To ask Him to renew my heart, mind and spirit. I am reminded to seek only His will for my life and to further rebuke my flesh. Yes, when the disappointments come I chase harder after my Father.

So many people, yes, even Christians, are looking for an easy life. I hear so often, “When my life is in order… when I achieve this or that, then I’ll start living… then I’ll do this or that…” Hogwash! Today is the day to count on! You have everything you need to do what you need to get done (2Peter 1:3). Your life is now. This moment. Honor your Creator by choosing to live and work for Him today. When you obey His word and live according to His will, He will grant you all the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:5-6).

Don’t miss this! As God is your witness, what you speak and desire for your life will come to pass when you seek the Kingdom of God FIRST (Matthew 6:33). Your labor in His fields will reap a harvest you won’t be able to contain (Luke 6:38)! That’s a direct promise, not implied!

Believing that, knowing that, gives me the grace to handle earthly disappointments, failures and rejections. They are only part of my human experience – they test my faith and build my character. My Heavenly Father created a way for me to stand and bear them all even as I enjoy the day He has made for me (1 Corinthians 10:13).