Romans 9 is one of those chapters I think we should just rip out. Just toss it. It causes too many people too much consternation. People wonder how God could “make” Pharoah sin. But I don’t think he made Pharoah sin. Paul says in II Timothy that even dishonorable vessels can make themselves honorable.
20Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
And in I Timothy 2, we see that God desires that all be saved . . . and I really do think that “all” means all.
4 . . . who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I think, though, that Chapter 9 makes it clear that God makes decisions, that, at times, seem unfair to us. He chose Jacob over Esau, but not based on what either had done. He chose Pharoah to make His name known among the nations. He uses us, where we are in life – to accomplish His purposes – whether we have made ourselves honorable or dishonorable vessels. He makes His choices – and we live within His parameters.
Chapter 9 reminds me that I’m simply human, a creation of God’s. It is not my place to question His sovereignty – I am but clay.
20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
So much more exists in this chapter – but I am not writing a book here. I love the way it ends – Gentiles can be saved, by faith. That means me!
30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith . . .