I have read Romans so many times before in English, Spanish and in many bible versions but I love this chapter in the Message. I feel the emotions that Paul is experiencing as he writes this letter to the Romans. He wants them to understand how he loves his fellow Israelites but also that they missed it-Him- The Messiah! He walked among them and they killed him because they wanted a deliverer in the physical not realizing that they needed a spiritual deliverance more! So Paul wants to make sure that the Romans don't miss it as well, now as we read it-don't miss it-Him- The Messiah!
Romans 9 (The Message)
20-33Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn't talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, "Why did you shape me like this?" Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn't that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well:
I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
I'll call the unloved and make them beloved.
In the place where they yelled out, "You're nobody!"
they're calling you "God's living children."
Isaiah maintained this same emphasis:
If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered
and the sum labeled "chosen of God,"
They'd be numbers still, not names;
salvation comes by personal selection.
God doesn't count us; he calls us by name.
Arithmetic is not his focus.
Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth:
If our powerful God
had not provided us a legacy of living children,
We would have ended up like ghost towns,
like Sodom and Gomorrah.
How can we sum this up? All those people who didn't seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road.
And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:Let us not become to self absorbed with all the projects we expect ourselves to do "for God's Glory" that we miss his Glory! Let's be very careful to always trust God with our lives so that he can mold us into men and women according to his heart!
Careful! I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion,
a stone you can't get around.
But the stone is me! If you're looking for me,
you'll find me on the way, not in the way."
I want you God! I want my life to savor the sweetness of your glory everyday! I want to always know that you are the reason for every season of my life! Please help me to stay focused on you and not on myself! I don't want to always be in control I want you to control my life! Remind me when I am getting to busy and help me to slow down even if that means tripping over you like a huge rock in the middle of the road! but after I trip Lord pick me up and take me in your arms so that in your embrace I can find forgiveness and wholeness!
I long for you, I don't want to miss you!