Lesson 40—Romans 11

Israel’s Glorious Future

History is the story of God’s past dealings with the children of men. Prophecy is history written beforehand. Only God can tell all about the future, He knows the end from the beginning. A large part of the Bible is prophecy. Romans 11 has been called the “Key Chapter of Prophecy.” That is because it tells us of God’s dealings with the Jews, His earthly people, and all God’s plans for the world center round them. We will notice seven parts in the story.

1. God Has Not Cast Away His People, vs 1-6.

He has set them aside but they are still in His mind and purpose. They have forsaken Him but He remembers them.

Elijah thought all was lost in his day. He said he was the only one left and he would be gone soon. God answered his plea against Israel with the statement that there were 7,000 men reserved in Israel by God, not one of whom had bowed the knee to Baal. Elijah was not alone.

Paul says “I am not alone.” There are others who like myself have received the Christ our nation rejected. They at the present time represent Israel before God.

2. Israel Is In The Night of Her Sorrow vs. 7-10.

It was a dark and dreary night that settled on the Jewish nation after Calvary. Rejecting God’s gift of love in Christ they received the dreadful alternative of sinful slumber, (vs. 8). Oh what a nightmare it has been down thru the centuries. With eyes blinded, ears closed and “backs bowed down always” the Jews have tasted the bitter fruit of their sin. And the darkest period of their long night is before them.

3. There Is Hope Amid The Gloom, vs. 11-15.

The night is not starless. The clouds of doom are tinted with the rosy glow of a coming morning of Israel’s restoration when she shall enjoy a glory surpassing her ancient splendor. Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning. God’s earthly people have fallen but they will rise again. When they fell salvation came to the Gentiles. When they refused mercy’s stream it found other channels to flow in. When they return to the Lord again it will be a day of Glory. All the world will be present at their reception and enter with them into that spring-time of resurrection life and beauty. Meanwhile Paul longs for their salvation and hopes that the blessing enjoyed by the Gentiles might provoke them to jealousy.

4. The Olive Tree Illustrates The History of Israel, vs. 16-24.

Jeremiah long ago said concerning Israel, “The Lord hath called thy name a green olive tree.” (Jer. 11:16). The olive tree speaks of blessing and in this parable it is used as an object lesson for us. It illustrates God’s way of bringing blessing to the world. Abraham was the “root” of this olive tree. He was “holy”; that is, he was separated from all the nations of the world. “The branches” are Israel, the chosen people of God. They too are holy having been set apart by God for blessing in the earth. But some of the branches were cut off. It was because of their unbelief. The Gentiles were a “wild olive tree.” God never made a covenant with them. But when unbelieving Israel was cut off the Gentiles were grafted in. Thus they enjoyed the blessings God had promised to Abraham. But the place of privilege is one of responsibility as well and the Gentiles are not to boast. Also they should remember that the tree into which they have been grafted is not their own. The stock is of Israel and Israel will come into her own place of blessing again if the Gentiles continue not in faith and in the goodness of God. The apostacy of the professing Church and the revival in Israel remind us that the day of Christendom’s doom may be not far distant.


1. How does Paul prove that God has not cast Israel away?

2. When will the dark night of Israel’s sorrow end?

3. What will happen to the world when Israel is restored?