"What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; 31 but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. 32 Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,
'See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'
10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
“We are seeing set up a distinction between justice of faithfulness and justice of law. Only faithfulness will actually arrive at justice. Despite the seeking and pursuing of justice through law, the justice at which law aims is not arrived at… The point is that Israel seeks to achieve justice through what it can control - its works or compliance with legal requirements - rather than by way of faithful adherence to the claim and call of God (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 152).”
“Justice cannot be captured in a knowable system that one needs only to repeat and obey. Justice is an immeasurable claim that bends toward mercy and compassion. (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 153).”
One of the issues is control. Justice does not come through what can be controlled by humans. The law, a gift from God meant to give life, is corrupted by humans who try to control it and bend it to their will. Justice is God's action and we are invited into the process of becoming just through this messianic event.
“They have stumbled over the stumbling stone…”
“The point is that what God is doing will bring many to stumble. But not all will stumble, for some - those who rely on the promise or are faithful to it - will not be put to shame (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 153).”
“The point is that God’s unpredictable way of fulfilling God’s promise is a cause of stumbling for those who think they can go on ‘automatic pilot’ - who believe that they know how it is supposed to be or turn out that they therefore can keep going in accordance with their own understanding or knowledge (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 154).”
The "stumbling block" is another statement on control. Once we think we can control something we begin to adjust the relationship to give us all the power. The same applies to our relationship with God. We do not get to dictate how God operates. We stumble over our own judgements on how we think God should action and who with whom God should maintain relationships. These actions are a breakdown in our relationships with one another and ultimately God.
“Speaking and Hearing: How Justice Comes”
“Paul will seek to show that faithfulness is awakened or provoked through the hearing of the announcement of the gospel rather than through compliance with the [written] law. This hearing, and the speaking that awakens it, stands in contrast with what we might term the ‘distance and inaccessibility’ of the law (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 156).”
"Moses writes concerning the justice that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the justice that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?
'The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart'
(that is, the word of faithfulness that we proclaim)"
"It has to do with the will [ heart] that acts not so much out of duty as out of desire. We might say that the justice of faithfulness is not heteronomous but springs from the wholehearted commitment of loyalty to another. (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 156).”
“…because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'
10:14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent?”
“We have, on the one hand, the depiction of an unreserved commitment [mouth,heart], and on the other, the object of that commitment, which is the impossible. We recall that this orientation to the impossible had already characterized the faithfulness of Abraham. He adheres unwaveringly to a promise whose content is the impossible… Here the impossible has to do with the affirmation that the executed is the messiah and that the one executed through the law has been raised from among the dead (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 157).”
“Justice enters into human history, the human world, through an announcement and thus through the hearing of an announcement that awakens glad adherence or loyalty. This is to be contrasted to a dutiful compliance with a certain legality, a legality that even aims at justice or that operates in the name of justice but comes to substitute itself for the call and claim of justice (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 158-59).”
“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”
Paul continues by citing Deuteronomy 32:21 (10:19) and Isaiah 65:1-2 (10:20).
“These texts confirm the centrality of proclamation and at the same time open up a gap between announcing and hearing [and faithfulness and justice]. This gap is Paul’s chief concern, as it bears upon Israel. The texts cited by Paul already set up the basic form of the argument to follow: God did announce good news to Israel (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 160).”
“The agent of promise and of salvation is God throughout. The object of faithfulness and of obedience throughout is God, not Christ - who is, rather, the exemplar of obedience and faithfulness. What is at stake in the resurrection of the messiah is the focalizing on the messianic proclamation of God that, for Paul, has been present in the word spoken [by God] to Abraham and the word spoken to Israel through the prophets (Jennings, Outlaw Justice, 160).”