The connection between this very remarkable passage and the preceding climax is close. The great certainty of "no separation" is the experience of one in close communion with the Lord experimentally. What the apostle now declared is the outcome of the fact that the sphere of his life is Christ. When this is remembered, we have the key to what else were inexplicable. No man could have written such words unless he were indwelt and dominated by Christ through the Holy Spirit. The first expression is toward his brethren after the flesh. The description of God's purpose for Israel is very fine.
The word 'but" with which the sixth verse opens suggests the contrast between the glorious facts concerning Israel just enunciated and Israel's present condition. The great fact is declared that "they are not all Israel, that are of Israel; neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children." God had made a selection from the seed, Isaac and not Ishmael, Jacob and not Esau. The selection in each case was based upon an underlying purpose of God which the apostle calls "the purpose of God according to election." The underlying principle of the action of God is His mercy and His compassion.
The apostle took an illustration from the opposite condition. Pharaoh is an example of the result of unbelief and wilful setting of the heart against the right. The figure from Jeremiah of the potter and the clay must be interpreted by the character of God. The quotation from Hosea is used here in a wider sense than by the prophet himself. The writer is referring to such as were, according to the flesh, outside the covenant. The quotation from Isaiah re-emphasizes the fact that not all Israel after the flesh shall be saved, but a remnant only. This again is by divine choice.
In conclusion, he declared the reason of the determining choice in each case. The choice of God is of those who believe.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25