God Provides the Blessing of Salvation for All
In these verses Paul expands on his argument to show that the Lord always had in mind reaching the Gentiles who were not part of the people of the Jewish people who are the children of Abraham, and who have given to them directly the covenant promises. The nations, or Gentiles, would be blessed through what God was going to do with Abraham, i.e. the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:3). "Through you I will bless all the families of the earth." The apostle also discusses salvation from the human level, in that God would use the messenger, a man sent with the gospel, to reach the pagan world.
10:14 Paul now comes down to the human level and shows that, in God’s providence, He uses human instruments to reach men for Christ. God is the Author of history and He moves men, opens and closes doors, as He sees fit!
The word "good-message" is actually the word "gospel." It is a compound word: eu=good, angelizomai=message. And it is used here as a Participle: "The ones who are continually bearing the good message."
Paul is actually quoting a premillennial verse from Isaiah 52:7. In verse 6 the Lord says "My people that know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’" That is the day that the nation of Israel as a whole will return to God and seek His face again. Paul uses the passage as a principle of how the truth is moved—through human agency.
But on the contrary is a strong adversative conjunction alla (D&M, p. 240). It is used three times in this section of verses (vv. 16, 18, 19). Alla is always emphatic and can be used, as I use it here, as a "contrary" or as an "exception." "Report" is the Greek word akoe. It is related to the word "to hear" (akouo) and refers to a message verbally delivered.
The great amillennial commentator Alford falls into his allegorical trap but then comes out on the side of premillennialists. He writes: "The persons meant in this verse are as yet kept indefinite." But I ask, how can that be? Paul is clearly quoting from Isaiah 53 about the Jewish people! However Alford recovers and adds: "But evidently the Apostle has in his mind the unbelieving Jews, about whom his main discourse is employed."
Thank you Dr. Alford!
(1) He could be saying that by "natural theology" God has sent forth His "good news" to the world, whether everyone has heard about Christ or not. This is similar to what he says in Romans 1. (2) He could also be saying, in so many words, that the gospel of Christ is kind of embedded in natural revelation. Humanity cannot deny God’s handiwork nor can people deny the gospel. (3) Finally, he could simply be making a parallel of natural revelation with the fact that the gospel of Christ is now going around the world so that all may hear its message.
The verbal phrase parazeloo is a compound of para=alongside, zaloo=jealous. The word carries the idea of "to provoke to jealousy or anger." I believe we have made a mistake by translating this word "jealous," rather than anger. The fact that God had begun to work with the Gentiles made the Jews furious. Alford agrees. He writes, "God be receiving into His favor a "no-nation" (Gentiles) to make [the Jews] jealous, and provokes them to anger." (Alford, p. 423)
Paul is quoting from Deuteronomy 32:15-25 where God is prophesying the apostasy of the Jews and a judgment that will then fall upon them. There Moses wrote that his people "forsook God who made him (Israel), and scorned the Rock of his salvation" (v. 15), and, "forgot the God who gave you birth" (v. 18). Then the Lord adds:
The expression became found is the Greek word eurisko. It is the common word "to seek." It is an Aorist Passive Indicative. By God’s sovereign work with the Gentiles in this dispensation (PERIOD) of Grace, a new work was begun in reaching those who wallowed in lost-ness and unbelief! The cause of this "finding" was not a self-generated searching; it was by design and carried out by the Lord’s sovereign work of predestination and election! Innately the Gentiles never asked for God! "There is none who seeks for God. … There is not even one!" (Rom. 3:10-12). This is a key component of the doctrine of TOTAL DEPRAVITY!
How blind of the Reformed allegorists, amillennialists, and preterists, to deny these clear passages! One allegorist, Ellicott, caved in and had to be honest about the above verses. In a weak moment he became a dispensationalist/premillennialist and admitted: "The promise of earthly restoration must yet be made, and must in due time be literally fulfilled." (Ellicott, p. 305) It is too bad that most Reformed guys remain in darkness and deny the plain meaning of the Word of God!