If the first fruit is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.  Romans 11:16

         The technicalities associated with a scriptural passage are important but I should not get lost in the minutia and miss the beauty of the larger meaning.  All scripture is to cause me to worship God.  This verse is no exception.

         To be holy is to be set apart by God.  Devoted and consecrated for His pleasure.  Once God sees me, chooses me by His grace and sets me apart for Himself, I am considered holy – even if rebellious before my conversion.  God’s love does not waver and He is true to His promises.  How unlike my love!

  • The firstfruits and lump refer to the first Jewish converts and the lump is the whole nation.
  • The root is Abraham and the branches are all his descendants.

         So what God doesn’t want me to miss is this ~ Whom He loves, He loves.  He does not give up no matter how long it takes and no matter how obstinate we are.  Israel may be blind and rebellious for thousands of years but God still considers her ‘His people’ and sees them as set apart for Himself.  She is considered holy.

         If God has made me a promise that someone I love will be saved ~ a father, a son, a friend ~ then their rebellion does not jeopardize that.  The one He chooses, He chooses.  I can fear that if this person whom I love keeps going down the path he is traveling, he will travel so far as to be out of God’s mercy.  God’s promises can look ludicrous in the face of their present condition.  My faith can shrink daily by what I see.

         What is causing me to despair today?  What loved one seems to be so far away from God that I am about to lose all hope?  Let me ask.  How long has their rebellion existed?  Twenty years?  Forty years?  It’s nothing compared to the thousands of years Israel has wandered.  Time is nothing to God.  His promises are ‘now’ and ‘forever’.  Just because the days and hours crawl for me doesn’t mean He is bound by them.

         I raise my eyes to a God I still cannot fathom.  He is too good to be true.  His love is so far out of my understanding.  In this world, I hardly know what to do with such good news.  Skepticism shouts in my ear.  Faith, I must fight for.  It is the fruit of wartime faith.  I plant my feet in the Word, for behind it is the everlasting love of a holy God.

All glory and praise to you, O Lord, who keeps your promises.  Amen

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