Charles Simeon Commentary - Romans 11:25 - 11:27

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Charles Simeon Commentary - Romans 11:25 - 11:27

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Rom_11:25-27. I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

IT is surprising, how indifferent even pious Christians are on the subject of the future restoration of the Jews. Though the Scriptures speak so much of it, the generality are contended to be altogether ignorant of God’s designs respecting them. Yet, in the midst of their ignorance, they are as decided in their sentiments on this subject as if they had made it their peculiar study, and were able to explain all the prophecies relating to it. Some will tell us, confidently, that the time for the conversion of Israel is not yet come; and that, when it shall be come, it shall be effected by miracle: and that, consequently, it is both unnecessary and presumptuous in us to attempt it. But, “brethren, I would not have you ignorant of this mystery;” more especially because it is in this chapter so plainly and so fully unfolded to our view. To aid you in contemplating the state of the Jews, I will endeavour to point out,

I.       The period allotted for their present blindness—

The blindness of the Jewish people is most awful—

[Their prophecies respecting the Messiah are most clear [Note: Refer to the most striking; and particularly the 53d chapter of Isaiah.] — — — And the accomplishment of them in the Lord Jesus Christ is most strongly marked in the New Testament — — — Yet is there “a veil upon their hearts;” so that they cannot see either what the prophecies imported, or how they are accomplished [Note: 2Co_3:15.]. This, indeed, is “happened to” that nation only “in part.” “A remnant” there are, and ever have been, whose eyes have been opened to see the light which shines around them: but “the rest are and have been blinded,” according to that prediction respecting them, “God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day [Note: ver. 8.].”]

This blindness will last “till the fulness of the Gentiles come in [Note: å ó Ý ë è , shall be fully come.]”—

[These words are much misunderstood. Some suppose “the fulness of the Gentiles” to mean the completion of the period allotted for the continuance of the Roman empire; whilst others think it refers rather to the period when all the Gentiles shall have been brought into the fold of Christ. I conceive that neither of these is the true import of the words; but that they speak of the time when the general conversion of the Gentiles shall commence. It cannot mean the completion of that great work; because the fulness of the Jews will precede that [Note: ver. 12.]. But when the Gentiles begin on a more extended scale to embrace the Gospel, then shall the veil be taken from the hearts of the Jews also; and they shall, if not universally, yet with few exceptions, be converted to the faith, and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and worship him as their God [Note: That ð ë Þ ñ ù ì á here, and ð ë ç ñ ù è ó é in Luk_21:24, refer to the commencement, rather than to the close, of a period. See, in the Greek, Joh_7:8. Luk_9:51. Act_2:1.].]

Such is the change which, at the allotted period, shall take place; and such,

II.      The event that awaits them at the termination of it—

Here let me call your attention to,

1.       The event itself—

[“All Israel shall be saved.” Hitherto, even in the best ages, there have been but few that truly feared God: the great mass of the people have been ungodly; and the saints have been but as a remnant of them. But in that day “a spirit of grace and of supplication will be poured out upon them in a more abundant measure; and they will look on Him whom they have pierced, and mourn, even as one mourneth for his only son [Note: Zec_12:10.]:” and “they will all fear the Lord, from the least of them even unto the greatest of them:” yea, so universal shall be the prevalence of real piety amongst them, that “every vessel in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness to the Lord; and there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts [Note: Zec_14:20-21.].”]

2.       The certainty of it—

[It is here assured to them by a special promise; and that promise is ratified by an unchangeable covenant. The promise is recorded by the Prophet Isaiah [Note: Isa_59:20.]; and, with a slight but unimportant variation, cited by the Apostle. That this promise had not been fully accomplished in the apostolic age, is evident, from the way in which it is cited by the Apostle: for it is clearly considered by him as referring to a period yet future, a period when “all Israel shall be saved.” What the Lord Jesus Christ has already effected among them, and what he has wrought also in the Gentile world, shews what he will do at the appointed season: he will, by the power of his word and the effectual operation of his Spirit, “turn away all ungodliness from Jacob;” and make them “a holy nation, a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

This is confirmed to them by an everlasting covenant. In the first covenant, the promises were all conditional; and being violated by them, it was altogether annulled. But by the new and better covenant, of which Christ is the Surety, God engages to “write his laws in their hearts, and to put them in their inward parts:” and not only “not to depart from them himself, but to put his fear in their hearts, that they may not depart from him.” Thus, at the same time that he takes away their former sins by forgiveness, he will prevent the recurrence of them by his grace, and secure to them the full blessings of his salvation [Note: Compare Jer_31:31-34. with Heb_8:8-12.].]

Let me, in conclusion, call your attention to “this mystery.” Consider,

1.       Its aspect on the Jews—

[How melancholy their present state of “blindness!” — — — and how glorious the prospects held out to them! — — —]

2.       Its proper effect upon your own minds—

[It is lamentable to observe how “wise” the generality of Christians are “in their own conceits,” in reference to this matter: how contemptuously they speak of the Jews, as if they were by nature worse than ourselves; and as if they were never again to be restored to the favour of their God. But, if we bear in mind what they once were, and what they are yet destined to become, we shall regard them with veneration, for their fathers’ sakes, and seek their welfare with earnestness for their own sakes — — —]