What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (Romans 11:7-15)
How is it that Israel, as a whole, has yet to enter into the “New Covenant made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…” that Jeremiah prophesied? Instead, those who are blessed to participate in the New Covenant of God, i.e.the church, has overwhelmingly consisted of gentiles.
Israel sought after Righteousness, but other than a tiny remnant, (the elect), the rest of Israel rejected the Righteousness of God which is by faith in the Messiah, and sought to establish her own righteousness.
As a consequence, Israel has temporarily been judicially blinded, and deafened as Moses,Isaiah and numerous other prophets warned of. The full txt of the Isaiah portion that Paul quotes, is
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:(Isaiah 29:9-11)
As a consequence of continual unbelief, Divine judgment has come upon almost the entire nation. Judicial blindness, spiritual drunkenness and stupor, deafness and inability to perceive. This is why Israel cannot see the Messiah in texts such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 and other obvious references and predictions fulfilled in Jesus.
Paul also cites the imprecations of Psalm 69, that “their table become a snare to them…”. The expression “Their table” refers to the security of those who sit at a full table feasting, unaware of a sudden destruction. It is the same idea as the New Testament saying, “When they say Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them as a snare”.
The request that “Their table become a snare…” follows the lamentation of David that would be seen as a prophecy of the crucifixion of the Messiah,
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.(Psalm 69:21-22)
Paul asks, “…have they stumbled that they should fall?”, ( utterly and absolutely) , to which the answer is ‘God forbid’! Israel’s fall is not absolute nor is it permanent.
Moses warned Israel from the beginning, in the song God gave him to teach the entire nation, that because of her obstinate unbelief, and faithlessness, God would make her jealous by another people who are not a people,
And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.(Deuteronomy 32:20-21)
Because of Israel’s fall, God simply turned to the gentiles, a “foolish nation” which wasn’t even seeking Righteousness, and which had not been trained from youth to accept the Messiah. He opened our eyes, and drew us unto himself, bestowing the riches of His grace on idolaters, and gross sinners.
The (temporary) fall of Israel from the Grace of God has been such a blessing to the gentiles, enriching the world with such things as the Church, Judeo Christian civilization, the light of scripture,deliverance from demonic paganism, knowledge, hope, love, humility and a host of other gifts.
Since this is manifestly obvious to any discerning person, Paul the Apostle of God asks us,
What then, do you think the restoration of Israel will mean to the world?
Israel’s restoration to her position as Priests, teachers and preachers, will mean nothing less than a resurrection from the dead for the whole world.
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (Romans 11:13-15)
As the patient Father awaited the prodigal, God awaits the final repentance and acknowledgment of His people,Israel. He has gone to the place from which He came, Hosea says, until they acknowledge their offense.(Hosea 5:14-15)
All of this sin cursed and weary Creation is awaiting this restoration. There must of necessity be birth pangs to bring it to pass, and many dreadful things must occur before the new day dawns, but it is a certainty, that when Israel is finally re-instated to her former position as “Priests and ministers of God”, the world itself will enter into a sabbath rest, the Millennium will commence ,
And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.(Isaiah 61:4-8)