I hope you’ve got some time on your hands, because we are going to analyze every verse about Israel in the Bible. Okay, just kidding. What I really want to do is to take a closer look at what Paul has to say about the nation of Israel in Romans 11. See? It doesn’t seem so bad by comparison, does it!
From doing so, I plan to show two things.
1. Israel’s rejection is not total; and,
2. Israel’s rejection is not permanent.

God’s Rejection Of Israel Is Not Total

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, Lord , they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life? But what does the divine response say to him? I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day. And David says: Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. Let their eyes
be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always. (Romans 11:1-10 NKJV)

Clearly, at the present time, the church which is made up mostly of Gentiles, is what God is using. But that does not mean that He will not use the Jewish people in the future as He promised. If that is not the. As, then how does that reflect on the faithfulness of God, who made certain unconditional and everlasting promises to Israel? God is not capable of being anything but faithful to His Word.

So let’s take a closer look at this passage verse by verse.
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (Romans 11:1 NKJV)
Has God thrown away His people? Did He finally say that He could not take it any longer and cast them out? To some it would appear to be so, since God is using those of us who have been adopted into the Family of God . It could seem like this was the case.

It is kind of like Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Aaron is under contract to play quarterback for the team. But what would happen if the season started and he started getting full of himself and disregarded the instructions of his coach. He would be pulled from the game and benched. But would he still be a part of the team? Even though he might feel that the team has broken promises to him by keeping him out of the game. But that would not be true. He is still on the team, but he is not on the field. Eventually, he will grow tired, or even jealous, of seeing a second string quarterback in his place on the field, change his attitude, and be put back onto the field when he starts obeying the coach’s instructions.

That is where Israel is right now. They were selected and prepared to fulfill a position before God, but chose to be rebellious. After rejecting their Messiah, they We’re benched and spiritual Israel, the church, has taken their place. But they have not been fully rejected by God. Because of that, Paul can answer his own question in verse 1 with a resounding “no!”

But do we have any other evidence that this is true? Yes, Paul uses himself as evidence. And since God had saved him, and he was an Israelite, then the rejection isn’t a complete one of all Hebrews. The fact that there are some believers of Jewish descent shows that God has not cast off all Jews from henceforth.

God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, Lord , they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life? But what does the divine response say to him? I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (Romans 11:2-4 NKJV)

“God did not reject his people whom he foreknew.” God knew ahead of time how Israel would reject The Messiah. This was not a shock to Him. And yet he still chose them and gave them a covenant in spite of that. There were many times Israel’s rebellion seemed so total that they were beyond repair. For instance, during the time of the prophet Elijah, he complained, “Lord they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I’m the only one left, and they’re trying to kill me.” It probably seemed to Elijah that God’s plan for Israel had failed, that there were no faithful people left to work through. In verse 4 we find God’s answer to Elijah, “I’ve reserved for myself 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” In other words, God had a remnant, a small number of faithful Israelites, to work through and fulfill his promises even in the worst of times. According to verse 5 the same is true today.

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (Romans 11:5, 6 NKJV)

There are not huge throngs of Jewish Christians, but there are a few. Because that is true, it cannot be said that God has negated his promises or completely rejected his people. Why are these remnant Jews saved today? Is it because they were more deserving, or worked harder at it than other Jews? Of course not! Paul answers that in verse 6 by saying they were chosen by grace. What is different is that they chose to obey the Gospel of grace instead of trying to earn God’s approval by law keeping.

But why are there so many who reject the grace of God in Christ Jesus? Paul answers that question in the next verses.

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day. And David says: Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. (Romans 11:7-9 NKJV)

Paul’s point is that, as a general rule, the have their hearts “hardened” to the Gospel message. And hard ground resists seeds planted on it. This is the consequence of their resistance to the Messiah. It is judgment for rejecting the Gospel when they had the chance to understand and obey it.

There is more contained in these verses, but the point Paul seems to be trying to make is that God’s rejection of Israel was not total. There is a small group of Jewish Christians who are being saved, but this will not always be the case. For the present, there is a minority who believe and a majority who reject Christ. But that leads to the next point.

God’s rejection of Israel is not permanent!.

I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Romans 11:11-15 NKJV)

Is this fall permanent? In other words, is God finished with Israel forever? According to Paul, that is not the case. At some point, they will get back into the starting line up and be back in the game with us. This is important because so many have been taught “Replacement Theology” where the promises to Israel were forfeited and they have been replaced by the Church. Unfortunately, this has also led to some anti-Semitism, which is totally contrary to what Paul is teaching here about the attitude gentile Christians should have toward the Jewish people.

Paul even makes a point of showing how this has been a benefit to us, because salvation has come to the Gentiles because of it. Only God can take something so bad and turn it around for good! And if Israel’s loss is our gain, how mu h fuller and richer will it be when they are with us!
And eventually, many will be converted because of our gentile witness, and will be resurrected as a result. Rather than being against the Jewish people, we should be actively praying and sharing the Gospel with those who may listen. Then they too will receive new and eternal life in Christ.

And in the end, physical Israel will rejoin the tree from which they were broken, and join with those of us who have been grafted in. And our love for them, through whom Jesus came into the world, will grow more and more as true Israel, Gentiles and Jews alike, will be saved by their obedience to the Gospel message. When will this happen? I don’t know, but let it not be delayed by our lack of preaching the Good News to them at every opportunity!

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