Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’ 19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, ‘I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.’ 20 And Isaiah boldly says, ‘I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.’ 21 But concerning Israel he says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.’”
In the above passage, Paul made his case about Israel’s failure—a failure that rested with no one but themselves. God did everything to ensure that they had their opportunity to hear the gospel. Previously, Paul showed us how the Israelites were misguided (Romans 10:1–4). He used Moses to show that the only way of acceptance before God was by faith in Christ, a faith that was and is within the reach of all (Romans 10:5–13). He also wrote that “those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ will be saved” (Romans 10:9–10). But if the message was going to be believed, he knew it had to be proclaimed; people cannot believe unless they can hear, and they cannot hear without a preacher (Romans 10:14–21).
So what is Paul’s point? Why was he saying this? He wanted to be crystal clear about Israel’s opportunity to hear the gospel. He wanted to make sure the reader understands that God spoke through the prophets and now through the apostles and others, but that Israel still rejected that truth. Though Israel heard, they still rejected God’s message.
No one could say, “Hey, that’s not fair; the Jews never had an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.” Paul pushed back on this kind of statement by means of some rhetorical questions to illustrate the conditions necessary for a person to call on Christ. His questions showed how the gospel is proclaimed: preachers are sent from God, the message is proclaimed, the message is heard, and the message is believed.
And who is the message for? It’s for “everyone who believes” (v. 13), the Jew and the Gentile.
In verse 15, Paul quoted from Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Who were these people Isaiah was talking about? It was those who would bring the exiles the good news of their imminent release from captivity in Babylon. Here, Paul used this passage to make a parallel to those who were preaching the gospel. They were the ones bringing the good news of release from the captivity of sin.
As I think about this passage, I can’t help but be encouraged. Here’s why: you and I, as Christ followers, have the opportunity to be one of those who “bring good news” that Paul speaks about! To share the gospel with those in need is a beautiful thing. What a privilege we have in being able to share God’s good news—His redemption, salvation, and peace! The great commission makes it clear that we are all to share the good news (Matt. 28). In a sense, we’re all preachers sent from God to proclaim the message of Christ, a message that is still being heard and believed today. Know this: people all across the world are calling on the Lord and being saved.
This begs the question…who has God put in your life today that needs to hear the gospel message? Pray that God will give you opportunity to “bring good news” to them.
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest; Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.