I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what's going on and arrogantly assume that you're royalty and they're just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that's not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house.
Before it's all over, there will be a complete Israel. As it is written, A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion; he'll clean house in Jacob.
And this is my commitment to my people: removal of their sins.
From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God's enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God's overall purpose, they remain God's oldest friends.
God's gifts and God's call are under full warranty - never canceled, never rescinded.
There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you.
Now they are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in.
In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.
Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out.
Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)