It always amazes me to read how the nation of the Israel of the Old Testament and we as individuals are similar when it comes to God's redemption and salvation. God has always used His Word as an example by which we can learn.
Israel and the Jews are God's chosen people. However, just like every people group in this world, all have turned their backs on God. Romans 3:23 states: ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... And when I think on that scripture, Proverbs 16:2-3 comes to mind: All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.
I think about all God has ever wanted from His creation, the people. He has always wanted nothing but each person to stop turning their backs on Him and acknowledging Him as God, the Creator. But we all have failed miserably. It's why He sent His Son Jesus. All we need do is call on His name (from a very true heart) and be saved. And then learn of Him through His Word, follow Him, like His disciples, share the Gospel.
But what does the Word say again? All have sinned and fallen short...we all think we know in our own minds what is right, apart from God. Apart from God our works are filthy rags, but through knowledge and devotion to Him, He will establish our ways. It's not what many want to hear.
So, the opening verses are telling us just what God wanted to do with Old Testament Israel (and still does). God eventually allowed the Gentiles into His sovereign picture. He allowed them to be grafted in to become children of God also...mainly as a means to make the Hebrews jealous, that they might turn back to Him. After all, Jesus died for all mankind.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. ...who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ...who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time... (1John 2:2 , 1Timothy 2:4,6)
I think about all the denominations in this world, most in existence by mere man. Each has their own idea how church should be, how God desires us to worship Him. And I think again of our works as filthy rags and His not wanting sacrifices but our obedience to Him, heeding His words over the works thing. (1Samuel 15:22) And I think about how some believe only certain people will go to heaven. He died for all…who would receive Him.
If we hear Him, heed His words, obey what we hear (through reading the Word), He will bring the healing as mentioned above. With healing will come peace and truth. He restores lives. We seek God to know the truth. We seek Jesus because He is the way, truth and life and provides the way to this forgiveness. This forgiveness of sins is the part about all having sinned and falling short of God's glory. If we submit to Him He will cleanse us, make us whole in His sight, and we will become His children.
I heard someone say that because He created all of us we are automatically His children. It doesn't work this way. We must be saved, which God has been trying to show us through the Old Testament and Israel and the New Testament through Jesus. It's true we are all God's creation (Colossians 1:16) and God loves all people (John 3:16) but, according to Jesus, we must be born again (John 3:7). That's where the restoration takes place.
Jesus is called our Redemption, our Healer, our Peace, the Truth, the only Way, and the Life. This cannot be denied. Without Jesus/God, we are lost. He makes Himself known to us. We seek Him for the answers...the truth...not what the world--man--declares. His declarations are for all to view in His Word. He says, "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
We do not know until we seek and find. When He sees a heart willing to seek and wanting to know, He will show great things which we just don't know until we have received Him and His Spirit, through being born again! It's a wonderful thing to know and understand. It's not agonizing! It so sets everything in this world into a proper perspective. We can understand why the world is as it is, has been...and will be. We can understand that only Jesus gives us this understanding. He brings us peace. Who doesn't want this peace?
1John 1:8-10 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.