For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!(Romans 10:11-15)
The Gospel is wonderfully simple, but that very simplicity has proven to be a stumbling block to Israel. They wanted a Righteousness that one could really work at, and take pride in, righteousness as an accomplishment, something only the notably “Holy” could achieve to the honor and praise of others.
But it pleased God to provide a righteousness that all of broken, ruined and sinful humanity could access. Neither Gentile or Jew could be saved from sin in any other way, than through faith in Jesus Christ, who freely gave himself to God as a willing sacrifice for our sins. It is in the richness of the grace and generosity of God, that man can be reconciled to Him, “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.
Had Israel listened to the prophet Jeremiah they would have realized that by grace, all boasting is excluded, because salvation is by faith alone. The only true boast man could make , would be that he knows God, and that even that knowledge is a gift,
Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Here Paul anticipates an argument to justify Israel’s inability to receive the gospel,‘Why didn’t preachers come and tell Israel the gospel?’.
But countless preachers had been sent to Israel, bringing the message of justification by Faith, to the exclusion of works, and emphasizing the inadequacy of works righteousness.
How would Adam and Eve been saved? Moses explains in Genesis 3 that they believed in the original gospel promise, of the seed of the woman. How was Abraham justified? Moses tells us in Genesis “Abraham believed God and it was counted for Righteousness”!
Prophet after Prophet and preacher after preacher came unto Israel, culminating in John the Baptist and then the Son of God himself, preaching salvation by grace and not works. After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended He sent forth the Apostles with the same message. Israel cannot say she wasn’t told.
Faith comes by Hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but Israel refused to hear John, Jesus and the Lord’s Apostles for the most part. They were all apostles, Jesus was sent from Heaven, John was sent and Jesus’ disciples were anointed and sent, but rejected by Israel.The very word ‘apostle’ means “sent one’.
But just like Isaiah, who Paul quotes here , about the “Beautiful feet of those sent to preach good news”,
Paul anticipates another argument on behalf of Israel, “ Has she had an opportunity to really hear and understand the gospel’?
But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.(Romans 10:18-21)
In response He quotes the 19th Psalm which tells us that no one has an excuse because the Whole earth is the receptacle of the sound of the Word of God. Israel heard alright.
But Israel has proven to be stubborn, according to the Psalm of Moses, in which he predicted their whole history, from the very beginning to the end of time, warning Israel that Since she would provoke God to jealousy by idols, God would provoke her to jealousy by the gentile,’non-people’.
The Gentiles which didn’t concern themselves with Righteousness anywhere near as much as Israel, would be found of God, and flock to Jesus the Messiah. They weren’t looking for Him , but they found him and were enriched.
As for the Jews, for the time being, Isaiah complains in the name of God, that though he stretches pout his hands to them, they ignore him and even talk back to Him.