Romans 11:1-10 – I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”
In this section of Scripture, Paul is asking what happens to the Jewish people who have rejected Jesus Christ as God and Messiah, and whether there’s any hope for them.
Paul’s answer is yes and no. He uses the idea of a “remnant” to describe the difference.
Yes, God has a plan for some of Israel (Romans 11:1-6). No, God will not save all of Israel (Romans 11:7-10). To make this point, he uses the story of Elijah where God had a remnant of 7,000 faithful believers in the godless days of King Ahab (1 Kings 19:9-18), among other sections of the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 29:4; Psalm 69:22; Isaiah 29:10).
Throughout history, it has always been the case that not every biological descendant of Abraham would share his faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, there has always been a “remnant” of people who did. Examples would include Noah’s family in the days of the flood (Genesis 6:5-7:23), Joseph and his family (Genesis 45:7), and a group of faithful believers in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 9:6-15; Nehemiah 1:2-3). Jesus says the same thing talking about the sheep (believers) and the goats (unbelievers) from Israel (Matthew 25:32-34).
Are there any people or groups you know that are a remnant faithful to God?
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