About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Chapter 11:1 - 10
Remnant Of Israel
11:1 – 10)
what Paul has said in chapters 9 and 10 you might think that God has
rejected Israel altogether. Paul
therefore opens chapter 11 with this question.
"Did God reject His people?"
This question has been heavily debated and argued over for
has divided the church right down the middle.
How you answer this question will determine how you view prophetic
you answer this question will also determine your political views towards
answer is both predictable and precise.
"By no means," he says. Paul
does not believe God has rejected Israel, and neither should we.
need to understand that Israel
as Paul uses it here is the
verse 1 Paul states one reason why God has not rejected Israel. He
himself was an Israelite.
Therefore, if he was saved, accepted and blessed by God, then God
obviously has not rejected all the Jews.
should note from verse 2 that even though Paul was now a Christian, he
still considered himself to be a national Jew.
He was still an Israeli.
He did not disassociate himself from his Jewish roots.
verse 2 Paul states that God did not reject Israel
"who He foreknew".
The "foreknowledge of God" is a huge issue and I won't
elaborate on it here.
The term simply means that God knows the future before the future
knew all about
should note here that in the beginning God chose Abra
quotes from 1 Kings 19:10 to 14 in verse 3.
He cites the passage where Elijah pleaded with God by saying,
"Lord, they have killed your prophets and have torn down your altars;
I am the only one left and they are trying to kill me."
In verse 4 Paul states God's response.
God said to Elijah, "I have reserved for myself seven thousand
who have not bowed their knee to Baal."
Baal was the Canaanites supreme god; the god of fertility. Elijah
might have thought he was the only one serving God, but he wasn't.
in the above passage that it says that "God has reserved for
God has sovereignty set aside some people within Israel
for Himself that Paul calls the remnant.
A remnant is a small piece of some larger thing.
What Paul is saying here is that God has set aside a small group of
Israelites for Himself and in so doing has not rejected Israel. God
has to be true to the covenant He spoke to Abraham.
There must be some Jews to inherit the blessings of the Abrahamic
Covenant, which by the way, includes land as well as nationhood. God
will not be defeated.
it bit ironic to me that Elijah thought he was the only godly man left,
when in fact there were seven thousand more people just like him among the
suggest that the number seven thousand is just a rounded off number, and
that might be so.
That being said, the number seven, and any derivative of
the number seven has special significance in Biblical terms, so, I think
it might well have some kind of special prophetic significance.
verse 5 Paul says that in like fashion, as in the days of Elijah, God has
set aside a remnant of Jews for Himself, a remnant chosen by grace.
That means the remnant of Jews set aside for the purpose of God in
Paul's day was not chosen because of any merit they had.
It wasn't that they were in total compliance to the Law of Moses.
They were chosen because of God's unmerited favour towards them.
Again, that may sound like predestination, but if you read my
commentary on Romans 8:29 and 30 you will note that God has predestined
all to salvation and all to ministry.
He has predetermined that all mankind should be saved.
That is why Jesus died to all, not just for a few chosen people.
Therefore, in one way or another, all are called by God by His
grace and those who respond in a positive way will be saved and have a
specific role to play in the purposes of God.
verse 6 Paul says that God set aside these people by His grace alone, not
by any good works they have done.
Again, good works here would be in association with the Law of
says that if the setting aside of these people was by works then grace
would not be grace.
Salvation, or in this instance, being God's chosen people, is
totally a matter of grace, His unmerited favour. There
is no mixture of grace and works here.
If there were, then grace by definition would not be grace.
This thinking is a repeat of what Paul said in chapter 9, and
throughout his writings.
We cannot underestimate the grace of God by trying to add our own
good works to His salvation.
grace spoken of here is in contrast to the Law of Moses.
When Paul uses the word "works", he is speaking of the
works of the Law of Moses, as well as the rabbinical laws, of which there
The Rabbinical laws were meant to clarify the Law of Moses, to make
things simple, but it really made things more complicated.
The Jews not only had to obey the Law of Moses, but also the law of
the Jewish religious leaders.
verse 7 Paul asks; "What then?
Law of Moses was a code for a nation to live by.
In reality, if
remnant of Jews in Paul's day who did have faith, they directed that faith
Because of that faith they were saved.
They were God's remnant.
speaks of the word "elect" here.
This is a word that has been often debated.
Who is the elect?
I believe the word as it is used in the sentence and in context
shows us who these people are.
I believe the elect are those Jews who have believed in God.
They have received His grace.
The rest of the Jews have had their hearts hardened according to
Paul in verse 7.
They cannot, nor will not, receive any aspect of salvation, which
would include being numbered among God's chosen people.
seen the word "hardened" earlier in Paul's writing here.
It was in reference to God hardening Pharaoh's heart.
What I said then applies here.
God does not reach down into a person's heart and hardens it
against his will.
A person hardens his own heart.
As a result, God puts situations before him that gives him the
opportunity to either repent or harden his heart even more.
In this sense of the word, because of the curses God cursed
verse 8 Paul goes on to say that the rest of Israel
was given over to their hard hearts.
"God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so they could not see,
and ears so they could not hear, to this very day (Isaiah 29:10)."
Again, I don't believe God made Israel's heart hard.
I don't think He made them go into a drunken stupor.
I don't believe He made them spiritually blind.
He presented situations before them that made them go spiritually
blind and death.
thing to note here is that if God's judges His own people because they
have turned their backs on their Him, then God will have no problem
judging the wicked nations of the world.
The ultimate judging of the nations will take place during what is
commonly called the Tribulation.
verse 9 Paul quotes from Psalm 69:22 and 23 to continue to back up his
point that God's judgment would fall on Israel. David
speaks of the tables becoming a snare and retribution to the Jews.
I believe this is speaking of the religious system of the Jews.
Their very religion that was meant for them to find God will get in
the way from finding their God and will end in their judgment.
It will get in the way because of all of the rabbinical laws that
were added to the Law of Moses.
10 continues with this Psalm.
The eyes of