In verse 19 Paul asked, “Could it be that they heard the message, but simply didn’t understand it? No! We saw tht Paul debunked that excuse based on the evidence of their own jealousy of others who were given their rightful, privileged status of beign God’s “chosen people”.
Today Paul quotes Isaiah, who boldly adds insult to injury as he describes further the conditions under which this happened. These “Johnny come lately” outsiders who seemingly stole the privileged status of the Jews, didn’t steal it at all–it was given to them as a gift. They didn’t even ask for it–God gave them something priceless that they didn’t even request.
A simple analogy might be this: A dad gives his kid an ipod touch. The kid becomes rebellious, so the dad takes it away and gives it to the poor neighbor kid next door who never even dreamed of owning an ipod at all. That maybe helps you understand the jealous feeling that this passage refers to.
Our final verse reminds the readers that God is waiting, with hands outstretched to bless Israel, but their persistant rebelliousness and stubbornness is keeping them from the blessing that could await them.
What do you think of my ipod illustration? Can you think of a better one?