But I ask, Have they not heard? Indeed they have; [for the Scripture says] Their voice [that of nature bearing God’s message] has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the far bounds of the world.
But I ask: Didn’t ·people [L they; C Israel] ·hear the Good News [L hear]? Yes, they heard—as the Scripture says: “Their ·message [voice] went out to all the earth; their words ·go everywhere on [L to the ends of] the world [Ps. 19:4].”
But haven’t there been plenty of opportunities for Israel to listen and understand what’s going on? Plenty, I’d say. Preachers’ voices have gone ’round the world, Their message to earth’s seven seas. So the big question is, Why didn’t Israel understand that she had no corner on this message? Moses had it right when he predicted, When you see God reach out to those you consider your inferiors—outsiders!— you’ll become insanely jealous. When you see God reach out to people you think are religiously stupid, you’ll throw temper tantrums. Isaiah dared to speak out these words of God: People found and welcomed me who never so much as looked for me. And I found and welcomed people who had never even asked about me. Then he capped it with a damning indictment: Day after day after day, I beckoned Israel with open arms, And got nothing for my trouble but cold shoulders and icy stares.
But I ask, “Didn’t the people of Israel hear?” Of course they did. It is written, “Their voice has gone out into the whole earth. Their words have gone out from one end of the world to the other.” (Psalm 19:4)
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