(16-29) God’s Sovereign Choice
God is in control of all matters, including the matter of salvation. We are not saved through human will or exertion, but on account of God’s mercy. God raised Pharaoh up and hardened his heart in order to show His great might in the deliverance of His people. Pharaoh, like us all, are clay in the hands of the Potter. He can shape us into whatever vessels He so chooses. If God wanted to create some of us for honorable use and others of us for dishonorable use, or if He wanted to create some of us for destruction and others of us for restoration, it would be His right as Creator/Potter to do so. This is not to say that God does do this, but Paul sets forth this supposition to show what folly it is for creation to question and/or argue with the sovereignty of the Creator.
(30-33) Israel’s Unbelief
Paul shows how the Gentiles who were not pursuing righteousness and who had no special knowledge or revelation of God, came to attain righteousness by expressing faith in Christ. The Jews, however, who were pursuing righteousness by obeying the law did not succeed in their attempt and ended up stumbling over Christ because they refused to believe that salvation does not come by obeying the law, but by believing in Him.
Favorite verse: (5) As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”