1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
3″Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”
4But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”
5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
8just as it is written,
“GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR,
EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT,
DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”
9And David says,
“LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP,
AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM.
10″LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT,
AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER.”
“If God is so loving, then why does he condemn us all to death (Hell) for our sins, knowing there is nothing we can do to save ourselves?”
Have you heard that question before? I did, not too long ago, either. I think Paul explains the answer right here, by using Israel as an answer. He makes a few points we need to remember:
1) We are saved by divine appointment. God’s grace flows upon us according to how he wants it to flow.
2) There is NOTHING we can do to save ourselves, BUT GOD sent His Son to save us for our sins. THAT’S how loving a God He is.
3) God wants you to be saved, but it will happen how and when HE wants it to happen.
I’ve started reading a supplement book to the book of Romans and there’s a point in there that I think needs to be made:
“Law elects those who obey its requirements. Grace elects those who are willing to receive everything through faith, not as a matter of right, but as undeserved and unmerited favor at the hand of God.”
Israel’s rejection is not because God doesn’t like Israel anymore nor has he forsaken them. Rather, they refuse to give up their religion and letter of the Law for grace. They still want to earn their way into heaven instead of accept God’s gift. Israel isn’t the only people that way, everyone is. All non believers. Even some believers today still feel they need to earn something. It’s only human, but it doesn’t save us any more or any less.
Where do you stand?