16.5 Romans – Rarity

What makes something extremely valuable?  Most often it is rarity.  Supply and Demand.  Millions of things that are all the same are generally going to be relatively inexpensive.  But the one masterpiece painting is priceless.

But it is not just the rarity of the thing that makes us appreciate it’ value.  It is its contrast in how much better it is than everything else.  I may only craft one statue of David in my life (probably out of play-doh).  But, while it would be rare, it would stand out as being different or better than anything else.  But Michelangelo’s sculpture of David is a different thing entirely.

Paul ponders the question, why does God put up with all the wickedness in the world?  Why is He so amazing patient, especially given His power and authority?  His hypothesis is that this is no accident, but instead it is something that He has done and continues to do for us, for believers.  Before we were ever born He planned to offer us His mercy.  He planned to come down, not have us climb up, and accept the gift of His son.  He sent His Holy Spirit to soften our hard heart, like a gardener tills the soil.  He planted His Word and watered it with mercy and compassion and grace.  He did that for you and me, yes, as Paul said, “even us”.  I know, it is so hard to believe.  Why us.  Not because we earned it.  Surely not because we deserved it or just got lucky.  Not because of our parents or ancestry.  No, Paul specifically points that out, that it is a calling that is made to both Jew and Gentile.

Why?  Paul’s answer or hypothesis is that God does all of this to “make the riches of His glory known”.  He wants to share His glory with us whom He had prepared for glory.  Not to show off, but to give it, too.  When we choose Jesus it isn’t at a distance.  We are engulfed in God’s glory.  Not veiled.  Not behind a curtain, but totally permeated and renewed by it.  This doesn’t happen all at once in the same way a plant doesn’t immediately spring from seed to full fruit.  But it does happen.

But if everyone and everything was filled with God’s glory, would we appreciate it?  Would we see it’s full riches?  I don’t know.  But I do know that 1/3rd of the angels evidently did not.  They followed Lucifer the father of lies and fell from God’s grace.  Do we really think we would have faired better?

But God had a better plan for us.  It isn’t up to us, we just respond to the call and He does the rest.

My Answers:

11.
He demonstrates it through patience of wickedness to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy

12.
His glory. His love and justice. His righteous acts. His willingness to listen to my prayers and intercessions. His provision for my needs. His acceptance of my works.

13.
While the Jews were and are God’s chosen people, He always intended to not be limited by ancestry of Israel but to bring in others. And, while they are His people He always also knew many/most would reject Him over and over again.

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