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reflections of mine others might find useful

Reflections on Romans 9:14 (Mon)

In case you’re wondering what these daily “Reflections” are all about, check my post: Join Me For Breakfast. Also, check out Pastor Bob’s blog at www.bobwestfall.com.

click here for the Net Bible link to today’s passage

It seems rather odd to be assigned only one verse today. Can a person have a significant quiet time on just a verse alone? I remember reading three chapters a day when i’ve done those “through-the-Bible-in-a-year” programs. Well, we’re about to find out!

I’m going to use a microscope today to squeeze as much juice out of this verse as possible.

Twelve words. Three sentences. 57 Characters. 2 questions, 1 rhetorical. 1 explanation point. 0 footnotes. 10 Greek words. 18 cross-references. One online photo. Ok, maybe there’s more to this small verse than I thought!

I’m very new to the NET Bible which I know many of our staff pastors have been raving about. I’m starting to rave a bit myself, when I see all the features it has at my fingertips. If you were to click on the KJV tab, you would see the Old English text with the corresponding Greek words underneath. The GRK-HEB tab brings up just the Greek, with the numbers representing a link to each word’s definition. The XRef tab shows you a lot of similar passages in scripture and what’s really cool is that you can hover over them to see the texts instantly! Wow! Finally, the Art tab just shows a related work of art, in this case a picture of a potter and the clay.

With those tools at my disposal, I’m going to jump right in. The first sentence seeks a response to what we’ve learned so far in the previous passage, which was this: God has “loved” or “hated” [i.e. “selected” or “rejected” 😉 ] certain people in the past based not on their own works, but merely for His own pleasure. Today’s passage begins saying: “Observing that God operates this way, what should our judgment be about it?” Ironicly, the upcoming answer will rebuke us for even asking such a question!

Now on to the second question, which is rhetorical: Is there any injustice with God? I was especially interested in learning more about this word “injustice”. The Greek word Adikia (just think, with the Net Bible tools you too can speak thusly) has three possible definitions 1) injustice, of a judge 2) unrighteousness of heart and life 3) a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness

I find the judge comparison to be very understandable. We can all comprehend how wrong it would be for a judge to be unfair. It reminds me of the novel, “The Shack.” While I recognize the book has some serious theological shortcomings, I loved the scene where God is on trial. The point was clearly made that God has His reasons and who are we to ever stand in judgment of Him?

And this message of God’s justice is clear all throughout scripture. Take a minute if you haven’t already and click on that Net Bible X-Ref tab. Hover over all the passages and you will be amazed as I was of how consistent the Scriptures find God to be a judge who is just.

Paul’s answer to his rhetorical question is clear. “No way, Jose!”

All of this points to God’s sovereignty, doesn’t it. I appreciated Bob’s definition of that yesterday: “God is free to act as He chooses, without any limits set by the actions of another.” No jury is needed, the judge is perfectly qualified and capable of doing what is right.

Well, I just realized that I’ve just now spent over an hour studying that one little verse and I think I could have squeezed even a little more out of it if I had the time. But I think I’ll leave that to the rest of you!

Any other initial thoughts on today’s lonely verse? If you have any insights, stories, or thoughts about today’s passage, please comment below! Thanks!

3 Comments

  1. There’s a woman in my ABF who doesn’t like Paul. I think it is because he tends to hit too close to home! Sometimes I can understand,but this verse is one time that I really like Paul. He knows what people are probably thinking and he answers questions clearly and decisively.NO is pretty clear!
    I enjoyed the X-Ref feature too.
    Pastor Bob helped with his clarification of looking at God from our perspective versus from God’s.We need to be reminded that God is not a person like us.

  2. Mark, thanks for a great job at explaining how a person can study only one verse and get much from it. Thanks for showing how you could do it by using Bible.org study tools. Keep up the good work!

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