And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these—the natural branches—be grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:23-24)
Here is Paul’s answer to those who might object to God hardening the Israelite people’s hearts. God will not force them to remain in unbelief; they are free to turn and believe. Even if their hardening was part of God’s plan to draw the Gentiles to himself, God’s intention was never to cement the Israelites in continued unbelief. Whoever repents of their unbelief and returns to God will always be welcomed home with open arms.
There is an important message here for believers and unbelievers alike: You can always repent. It doesn’t matter how long you have lived in unbelief or what sins you have committed. It doesn’t matter how far down the pathways of evil you have traveled or how far astray you have wandered. You can stop right where you are, turn around, and head home. God has the power to forgive all of your sins and, more importantly, desires to do so. You owe nothing to evil, so just walk away.
God, thank you for your unfailing grace. You have shown greater kindness to me than I deserve. You have been patient with me in the times of my sin and rebellion. You have withheld righteous judgment that should have fallen against me. You have forgiven me every time I asked for it. Thank you for grafting me into your life-giving vine. Let the fruit of righteousness grow within me for your glory and for my joy.