19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--
24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
The scriptures are written to the church, i.e. the saints, the elect. They are worthless to the unbelieving world, except as a study in literary styles, or world religions, etc. etc. (unless of course they are being preached to the elect who will come to belief).
It would seem that the saints in Paul's day questioned the mystery of God’s sovereignty. (Paul rhetorically presents the anticipated question) The answer is not found in some lengthy theological treatise. The answer is; this is the God of the universe, the maker of all things and all men. He is the one who is all good, merciful, loving, gracious and all knowing. Therefore He displays His mercy by also displaying His righteousness, holiness, judgment and wrath. Who are we to question His ways, and thoughts?
I once had an “emerging church type” accuse me of preaching a God of “randomness”, that is He chooses the redeemed at random, for no apparent reason. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, the god who leaves the gifting of salvation up to men and their “free will” choices, is the true god of randomness, a reactionary god; a god in constant damage control mode; one who decrees nothing to be. This “god” is not God. There is huge difference between the god who does our bidding and the One who reveals to men what is His.
Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria