The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 205 of 207
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"How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they
believe in the One of Whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without
someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is
written, `How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'." (10: 14-15, N.I.V.).
These queries are really self-evident. Men will only call for salvation upon one whom
they believe or trust. And to do this, someone must make Christ known to them and
these come not of their own choice or authority, but because they have been sent by the
Lord, so the whole process begins and ends with Him. Paul now shows from the Word of
God that He did not fail to send out His preachers.
"It is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news",
and here he quotes from Isa. 52: 7. How was it then that Israel did not believe, for they
had the message first, before the Gentiles? This was not unforeseen for this very context
deals with the small response from those who heard--"who has believed our message?"
(Isa. 53: 1).
To a large extent the gracious message to Israel went unheeded and the opposite of
faith reigned, namely, unbelief.  How does faith originate?  Many have asked this
question again and again. There is only one answer:
". . . . . faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word
of Christ" (10: 17).
Many seem to imagine that faith can be produced by will-power or by holy living. It
can only come by constantly listening to the word of Him Who is the Truth (John 14: 6).
Then it becomes the most reasonable thing to believe Him Who cannot lie or mislead.
Christians who keep their Bibles closed are never likely to have big faith!
In Paul's day some may have imagined that the people of Israel did not all hear the
"But I ask, did they not hear? Of course they did. Their voice has gone out into all
the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Again I ask, did not Israel understand?
First, Moses says, `I will make you envious by those who are not a nation. I will make
you angry by a nation that has no understanding'. And Isaiah boldly says, `I was found
by those who did not seek me; I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me'. But
concerning Israel he says, `All day long I have held out My hands to a disobedient and
obstinate people'." (10: 18-21, N.I.V.).
Yes, Israel had heard. Wherever there was a company of Israelites the gospel had
been preached. Here Paul quotes Psa. 19: which deals with the witness of God's
creation to the world. The point here is that wherever there were Jews, there the good
news had been proclaimed. Nor could it be said that Israel did not understand. Their root
trouble was they would not obey. They showed envy and jealousy when the Gentiles
accepted the message but they would not believe it themselves. This fulfilled the word of
the prophets and here the Song of Moses is quoted (Deut. 32:) where the ingratitude of
Israel is described, and then God says: