You will say then unto me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?
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Paul teaches us first that nobody can resist God’s will because he is more powerful than anyone else. Next he teaches us that God is the Father of all and therefore does not want anyone to suffer evil. What God has made he wants to remain unharmed. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
Having given his conclusion [in the last verse] Paul plays devil’s advocate by asking a rhetorical question…. He responds to this question in a sensible way so that we might understand that the basic rewards of faith and of unbelief are made plain only to spiritual people and not to those who live according to the earthly man. Likewise with the way God in his foreknowledge elects those who will believe and condemns unbelievers. He neither elects the ones because of their works nor condemns the others because of theirs, but he grants to the faith of the ones the ability to do good works and hardens the unbelief of the others by deserting them, so that they do evil. This understanding, as I have said, is given only to spiritual people and is very different from the wisdom of the flesh. Thus Paul counters his inquirer so that he may understand that he first must put away the man of clay in order to be worthy to investigate these things by the Spirit.
Thou wilt say, therefore, to me The apostle makes objection, that if God call some, and harden, or even permit others to be hardened, and no one resisteth, or can hinder his absolute will, why should God complain that men are not converted? St. Paul first puts such rash and profane men in mind, that is unreasonable and impertinent for creatures to murmur and dispute against God their Creator, when they do not comprehend the ways of his providence.
O man, who art thou that repliest against God? This might stop the mouths, and quiet the minds of every man, when he cannot comprehend the mysteries of predestination, of God's foreknowledge, his decrees and graces, or the manner of reconciling them with human liberty. He may cry out with St. Paul again, (chap. xi. 33.) O the riches of the wisdom, and of the knowledge of God! how incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!
Shall the thing formed Hath not the potter power To teach men that they ought not to complain ag...
Paul does everything he can to embarrass the questioner. He does not answer him right away either, but prefers to shut him up with a further question…. This is what a good teacher does. He does not follow his pupils’ fancy everywhere but leads them to his own mind and pulls up the thorns, and then puts the seed in and does not immediately answer all the questions put to him.
Having solved the question proposed [n. 765], the Apostle objects to the solution, particularly to the last part, which states that God has mercy on whomever He wills and hardens whomever He wills. First, he places the objection; secondly, the solution [v. 20; n. 788]. 787. First, therefore, he says: We have said that God has mercy on whomever He wills and hardens whomever He wills. You will say to me then: Why does he still find fault? i.e., what need is there to inquire any further into the cause of the good and evil done here, since all things are attributed to the divine will, which is a sufficient cause, since no one can resist Him? Hence he continues: For who can resist his will?" I applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven" (Ec 1:13). Or in another way: Why does he still find fault? i.e., why does God complain about men when they sin, as in Is (1:2): "some have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me." Therefore, He does...