I ask then, did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah – how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me.” And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:1-6)
We always believe we know what God and other people are thinking. My husband has a good friend, Rick, whom he worked with for many years. My husband and I went out socially with Rick and his wife, Julee. His wife was nice, but we didn’t connect. I thought that she didn’t like me. One day God nudged me, “You have no reason to think Julee doesn’t like you. Ask her to do a Bible study with you.” When I feel God’s nudges, I usually act on them. When I asked her to study the Bible with me, she was delighted with my request. We are both on the shy side and our husbands are not, so we were out-talked at dinner and never had the opportunity to get to know each other. It is by God’s grace that we are now best friends.
Elijah, one of God’s prophets, was frightened after Queen Jezebel used her army to murder prophets who had not turned to her god, Baal, and were still worshipping God. He was certain that he was the only Jew left not worshipping Baal and that Jezebel’s whole army was in search of only him. But God told him, “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18).
God’s statement tells us two things. 1) We shouldn’t be afraid or get emotional when we think we know the hearts and minds of God or other people because we don’t. 2) We are chosen by God to be his children by His grace not by our works. If we do something wrong, we are still God’s child because we didn’t earn that status; by His grace He adopted us into His family.
We will return to the subject of why Jewish people don’t believe in Jesus – Part 2 tomorrow. Paul takes a break momentarily from that because of a more important message. Satan whispers in our ears, “God doesn’t love you because of what you did yesterday,” and we believe him. But God is telling us here that He has reserved us for Himself, and we will remain His children for eternity. There is no reason for us to be afraid or anxious knowing that we are His forever.