God Has Not Rejected His People

A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice, and justice demanded death. “But I don’t ask for justice,” the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.” “But your s … More

Mercy

Romans 11 is devoted to presenting proof that God is not through with Israel. Five witnesses are used to prove there is a future in God’s plan for the Jews.

  1. The Apostle Paul (v. 1). If God has completely turned His back on Israel, then how can the conversion of the Apostle Paul, who was a Jew, be explained.
  2. The Prophet Elijah (vv. 2-10). Elijah thought that the nation had totally departed from God, (I Kings 19) but he discovered that a godly remnant of 7000 remained in Israel.
  3. The Gentiles (vv. 11-15). When the Jews refused to accept the Gospel, God sent it to the Gentiles who believed it and were saved.
  4. The Patriarchs (vv. 16-24). No matter how far Israel may stray from the truth of God, the roots are still good. God is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and He will keep his promises to these patriarchs, and the olive tree will flourish again.
  5. God Himself (vv. 25-36). Men may dispute about prophecy and not agree, but we can be sure that God is going to keep His promises with His chosen people, Israel.

Throughout this chapter Paul shows how the Jews and the Gentiles benefit each other. Whenever God shows mercy to one group, the other shares the blessing. In God’s original plan, the Jews would be the source of God’s blessing to the Gentiles. When the Jews rejected this plan, God blessed the Gentiles through the Jewish Messiah. In the final analysis, all of us are absolutely dependent on God (v. 36). He is the source of all things, including ourselves.

Application

Is it easy to be proud and think that I am better than the Jews because God is dealing with Gentiles in a special way today? I’m thankful that the Gospel has been given to me, but I must never look down on the Jews, God loves them even though they have temporarily hardened their hearts.

Romans 11:1-12 (English Standard Version)

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." So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

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