“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:1-4)
The first part of this chapter presents Salvation's Savior. Paul's present desire for Israel was that they might be saved. He himself served as living proof that God could and would save a Jew even though the nation had rejected their Messiah. Laboring to give the Jews the gospel is not a vain effort. Many Jewish people are hard against Christ, but not all. The salvation of Israel is a task which God's people should be presently concerned about. Paul said that the zeal of his brethren was not according to knowledge. Misguided zeal is very dangerous. Many people mean well and follow their beliefs with great tenacity; yet, if their beliefs are not according to Scripture, what does it profit in the end? As the Lord said in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee....”
Ignorance concerning God's righteousness was their greatest downfall. Instead of resting in the substitutionary work of Christ, they relied upon their own goodness. This particular mistake is common to all mankind. The human heart resists the doctrine of depravity. Man is the master of comparison. He can always find someone who is morally worse off than himself; however, any infraction, however slight, of God's standard is sufficient to work eternal damnation; therefore, Jew and Gentile are in desperate need of the righteousness of God which is found in Christ. Contrary to the shaky ground of man's goodness, the ground of God's righteousness is a place of stability and security, as Isaiah 33:6 declares, “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.” God's righteousness is a place of perfection (Colossians 1:28), and a place of safety (Psalm 50:1-6).