a remnant chosen by grace

January 2015 (7)

Romans 11:1-10

1 So I am asking, God has not abandoned his people, has he? Absolutely not! Because I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not abandoned his people whom he foreknew! Do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have destroyed your altars; I alone am left and they are seeking to end my life!”[1] 4 But what was the divine answer to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand faithful men who have not bent the knee to Baal.” [2] 5 So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if it is by grace, it is no longer by works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? Israel failed to get hold of what it was diligently seeking, but the chosen got it. The rest were hardened, 8 as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of coma, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, to this very day.”[3] 9 And David says, “Let their table become a snare and trap, a stumbling block and a reprisal for them; 10 let their eyes be darkened so that they may not see, and make their backs bend repeatedly.”[4]

a remnant chosen by grace

If God had revealed his way of grace and his Messiah, then why have so many ethnic Jews failed to embrace it, and him? Paul’s answer is that only a few Israelites currently see things as they really are. The remnant (in which Paul is included) have been enlightened by grace, but the majority are given over to a spirit of coma, where their eyes do not see and their ears do not hear.

This is not the first time that such a thing has happened. Paul shows this by recounting incidents in Israel’s past where those with faith were few and far between. Elijah’s complaint and David’s prayer show that God was not doing a totally new thing in the first century. It was not uncommon for the faithful to be few in ethnic Israel.

Often people reject the gospel on the grounds that so few (relatively) around them are accepting it. They reason that if something is obviously true, God would not allow the majority to fail to see it. But history has shown that truth usually takes a back seat. If you see God’s truth in the gospel, you have no excuse for rejecting it, even when everybody else seems to.

LORD, give us the courage to stand with your truth, even if we seem to stand alone.


[1] 1 Kings 19:10-18.

[2] 1 Kings 19:18.

[3] Deuteronomy 29:4.

[4] Psalm 69:23.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in David, Elijah, ethnic Israel, faith, faithfulness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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