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Can anyone understand the teachings found in the chapter of Romans 9? Have the mysteries hidden within it, exceeded the limits of human comprehension? Should the writer declare that the mysteries hidden in Romans Chapter 9 are not only simple foundational truths but also truths familiar to us – would this be too farfetched? Obviously if the Lord has chosen to hide great incomprehensible mysteries in the passage, we would expect it to remain hidden since no one can understand it. It is when the truths that the Lord has hidden are so plain, simple, and straightforward, we will begin to appreciate and recognise the magnificence of God’s unsurpassed wisdom. Should all the words and languages of the world be used together, it would not be adequate to describe the wonder of God’s marvellous wisdom!

Though the truths in Romans Chapter 9 are simple to understand, to be able to interpret them would call for the use of the most difficult bible interpretation principle. For this reason, the truths in the passage have remained hidden to this day. The most difficult interpretation principle mentioned, is to interpret the passage only according to the intentions of the bible’s author – the Holy Spirit, no more and no less. At no time should it be based on man’s intellectual reasoning. By illustrating this principle with an example found in Matthew, Chapter 2, Verses 13 to 15 will make it clearer to us. This passage records the incident where Joseph and Mary fled with Jesus as a child to Egypt to escape from King Herod:

‘When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."’

‘Out of Egypt I called my son,’ are words used in the passage to describe how God has called His Son Jesus Christ out from the land of Egypt in fulfilment of an Old Testament prophecy. Though, nothing seems to be unusual here, but if we were to probe deeper into the source of this prophecy, we would come to realise that it was fulfilled rather inappropriately.

“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more I called Israel,
the further they went from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.” ~ Ho 11:1-2

The verse Matthew quoted from Hosea, speaks of God’s deliverance of His people – the Israelites, out of Egypt. In its context, when God showed more mercy and grace to the Israelites, they rebelled more against God by turning towards the worship of idols and foreign gods of the Gentiles. When Matthew quoted this verse, he used it to authenticate the fulfilment of how God has called Jesus out of Egypt. Disturbingly, by doing so, it has somehow associated Jesus with the sinful Israelites. No matter how we look at it, we will find that the verse has been used rather inappropriately and perhaps even suggests a misquotation by the author. But the truth is, Matthew did not make mistake in his writings – and this is precisely the most difficult interpretation principle in the bible we have mentioned.