It is not as though the word of God has failed.
Israel, the recipients of adoption by God, the law, the patriarchs — God’s covenant people of promise — is cut off from God. But God has not broken his covenant, nor has he forgotten his promises. This is because it was never God’s intention that all who are ethnically Jewish would be saved. Rather, as Paul explains, there has always been a division between physical Israel and the true Israel of God, between Abraham’s offspring and the children of Abraham, between the children of flesh and the children of promise.
The promises of God are for those who are children of promise (Romans 9:8) — it is the work of the sovereign God creating children out of what no human being can do. Humans can procreate to further a physical lineage. Even when Abraham was old, he found a way (through his servant Hagar) to have physical children. But this is not the point: it is the children of promise, born by the miracle of God, that are counted as offspring. God has never defaulted on his promises to the true Israel of God.
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.
As part of this initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. This is Part 6 in a series on Romans 9 called “The Word of God Has Not Failed.”