We could spend a lot of time on this short passage, but I’ll try to be as simple and succinct as possible! One very basic lesson from this passage is that God is sovereign. He is all powerful, and He is in control. God’s sovereignty is shown in His choice, in His mercy, and in His judgment. He is also gracious. He doesn’t have to choose anyone. He doesn’t have to be merciful to anyone. But He chose a nation. Israel was given privilege and knowledge. They were given the law, which should have made them understand that they needed faith as well. However, they believed that they could work their way to God. God forcefully reminds us here that the law isn’t enough – works aren’t enough! But He is gracious, and He choose a remnant in Israel through faith. That faith is currently displayed through belief in Jesus Christ, “a stone that will cause people to stumble” (9:33, from Isaiah 28:16). Unfortunately, most continue to stumble and don’t believe. But God, in His mercy, brings others into His kingdom. He grants faith to the Gentiles, something that He revealed was going to happen centuries before:
Romans 9:25-26 “As he also says in Hosea: ‘I will call those who were not my people, “My people,” and I will call her who was unloved, “My beloved.”‘ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
How should we respond to this passage? With a deep and abiding love of God through His choice of us through Jesus Christ!