Romans 11 … Consider His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (11:33).

Paul begins this portion of his theological essay with a question.

I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?… (11:1).

Written to a Gentile audience, who quite possibly had developed harsh feelings towards those who should have known; towards those who stiffened their necks and hearts; towards those who rejected the fulfillment of His promise; towards those who were responsible for His agonizing torment on the cross; and now perhaps, had concluded that the nation Israel was out for good.

And without giving even one moment to contemplate that possibility, Paul answers immediately.

…May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew… (11:1-2).

God has not rejected His people. And throughout the remainder of this chapter, Paul explains the place Israel now holds in God’s foreordained plan, and will hold again. And much attention is given to shed some understanding on the readers’ thoughts and minds; and in the end, Paul must acknowledge this truth.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? (11:33-35).

Consider His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways

The words translated, Unsearchable and Unfathomable, are actually the same word in the Greek. (Other versions translate this Greek word as: beyond tracing out, inscrutable, untraceable, past finding out, unexplainable; incomprehensible.)

Unsearchable; Unfathomable:
419. ἀνεξερεύνητος anexereúnētos; Not capable of being searched out, inscrutable (Rom. 11:33). See Prov. 25:3; Jer. 17:9. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
32.23 ἀνεξεραύνητος, ον; ἀνεξιχνίαστος, ον: pertaining to being impossible to understand on the basis of careful examination or investigation—‘impossible to understand, unfathomable, impossible to comprehend.’ Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

His ways are beyond comprehension or explanation. And while His Judgments, perhaps at times, do not line up with our own ideas, we too must acknowledge, Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”

  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, His gracious choice is presented.
    • In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace, (11:5-6).
  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, His salvation has come to the Gentiles.
    • I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous, (11:11).
  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, He offers reconciliation and life from the dead.
    • For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (11:15).
  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, He reveals it is solely His work that brings us into His family.
    • But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you, (11:17-18).
  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, He reveals both His kindness and severity.
    • Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again, (11:22-23).
  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, He confirms His irrevocable calling.
    • From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, (11:28-29).
  • In His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways, Rich in His Wisdom and Knowledge, He shows His mercy to all.
    • For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all, (11:).

How do we respond to His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways?

We will never fully understand. In studying and writing about the preceding verses, I remain confused on some of His why’s. But it is not within my ability to even attempt to fully comprehend everything. In this chapter there are truths He has made known. And for those truths revealed to our finite minds, we are to thank Him and agree.

  • If we are a child of the King, it is not something we can boast in or take credit for. Let us never be wise in our own estimation. We are saved by grace through faith, and that has absolutely nothing to do with anything we are or do.
    • For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
      “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
      He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
      27 “This is My covenant with them,
      When I take away their sins.”
      (11:25-27).
  • Let us commit to pray for God’s goodness and salvation over the nation, Israel as we are reminded, “from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, (11:28-29).
    • Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
      “May they prosper who love you.
      “May peace be within your walls,
      And prosperity within your palaces.”
      For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
      I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
      For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
      I will seek your good,
      (Psalm 122:6-9).
  • And let us commit to pray for all those, including those in authority, who have not yet surrendered to His gracious calling, who do not yet know “the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
    • First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
  • Let us ask Him to conform us to His image, that we would not become embittered towards those who are living their lives according to their own estimation and have not bowed their knee to His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways. Rather, let us seek them out with the message of hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.
    • “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).
  •  May He find us faithful as we live mindful that we have received His mercy by His gracious choice, and committed to share the reconciliation provided through Jesus Christ and His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways.
    • Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).
    • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy, (2 Peter 2:9-10).

As we daily fix our minds on the truth of His Word, and in acknowledgment that He is beyond comprehension, may we never lose our sense of wonder, amazement and gratitude for His Unsearchable Judgments and Unfathomable Ways. May our lives bring Him all the glory due His Name.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! …36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (11:33, 36).

Let’s Grow Together!

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