For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree
The hymnwriter Isaac Watts uses this as his setting for a song that, as later verses reveal, is ultimately a prayer for the salvation of believers’ children.
Gentiles by nature, we belong
To the wild olive wood;
Grace took us from the barren tree,
And grafts us in the good.
With the same blessings grace endows
The Gentile and the Jew;
If pure and holy be the root,
Such are the branches too.
Then let the children of the saints
Be dedicate to God,
Pour out thy Spirit on them, Lord,
And wash them in thy blood.
Thus to the parents and their seed
Shall thy salvation come,
And num’rous households meet at last
In one eternal home.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Jamie Soles, a Canadian singer/songwriter, has written hundreds of expository songs we plan to feature as this project progresses. There are a number of musical interpretations of this passage listed below; Soles’ stands out as being particularly well-done and particularly rooted in its source passage:
Father of faithful Abraham, hear (Romans 11:15-27)
O height and depth of boundless love (Romans 11:33-36)