I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
The general overall principle introduced by this verse was that Israel had not been rejected. The elect of Israel are saved and accepted forever as the people of God. So an Israelite, many believe he was the greatest Jew of them all, wrote how God had not cast off His people. Even though there are times of great apostasy, and divine discipline which became national disaster, God preserved a remnant of Jews who were believers, just as He had done in the time of Elijah when 7000 Jews had not bowed the knee to Baal. But there is more to it than that; these 7000 Jews had formed a pivot of mature believers, preserving the nation in its time of apostasy.
The inevitable deliverance and preservation of a client nation to God is always a spiritual factor. In spite of the Satanic conspiracy, the Jews continue to live on the earth. The failure of some Jews to believe in Christ does not cancel the grace of God, just as the failure of some believers to accept doctrine does not hinder the plan of God. Individual or collective failure to believe in Christ has never hindered the plan of God in history, and especially for Israel. And it has not hindered the validity of the Word of God. The plan of God moves on with or without the Jews and with or without us as believers. God’s promises to Israel have not been cancelled because some Jews have rejected Christ as Savior.
Paul is both a racial Jew and a regenerate Jew. The profile of Saul of Tarsus, known as Paul, forms a pattern for the true remnant of Israel. (Philippians 3:5-9; 1Timothy 1:12-15, 1 Corinthians 15:10) The believing Jews are always in the election of God, either as a believer in the dispensation of Israel or as a member of the Royal Family of God in the Church Age. If God could save Paul, then He could save any Jew. The Jews had no excuse.
God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left and they are seeking my life.
In the principle of this verse Paul refutes the casting off of Israel since it is impossible for God to ever cast off what He has foreknown. Since foreknowledge is related to the divine decrees for believers only it is obvious that believing Jews are in view, not Israel as a whole. It is important to understand that when it says all Israel shall be saved in Romans 11:26, it doesn’t mean that at the end all Jews are going to be saved, it means all those Jews who are born again at the Second Advent, coming out of the Tribulation, will be delivered. Nothing can be foreknown until it is first decreed, which means that foreknowledge and omniscience are not synonyms. Logically omniscience precedes the decrees and logically foreknowledge is a printout of the decrees. There is always a remnant of believing Jews in every generation of the dispensation of Israel.
Paul used a quotation of 1 Kings 19:10. Note that the attack described by Elijah was against both doctrine (altars) and the communicator of doctrine in time of apostasy and national disaster in Israel. The accuracy of Elijah’s estimate of the situation was followed by the inaccuracy of his application. Elijah had become so preoccupied with the pressure of historical disaster that he had become distracted from such basic and fundamental doctrines as the fact that Jesus Christ controls history, and the principle of logistical grace. Therefore, Elijah had forgotten that God had a plan for his life as long as he was on this earth, and that God personally took the responsibility for sustaining his life as long as that plan continued. So by becoming occupied with self Elijah lost the perspective of grace and succumbed to the pressure of historical disaster.
But what is the divine response to him? I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
Elijah completely lost track of logistical grace. He had experienced many situations of being deprived of the necessities of life and had been the beneficiary of God’s logistical grace. Elijah could have reasoned from his experiences of logistical grace and come up with the right answer, “As long as God wants me on this earth He will provide.” Instead of being preoccupied with disaster and fear, Elijah could have been preoccupied with Jehovah (Jesus Christ).
In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
Just as a pivot existed in the time of Elijah, preserving Israel, so a pivot existed in the time of Paul, preserving the Roman Empire as a client nation to God. The overriding factor: Jesus Christ controls history. The restraint of disaster, the restraint of historical catastrophe in times of apostasy, is directly related to the fact that Jesus Christ controls history. Therefore both Israel and the Church perpetuate their function in the plan of God through the existence of the pivot of mature believers. The greatest thing a believer can do for his country is to persist in his perception of doctrine to form a part of the pivot which preserves that nation and forms the basis for national prosperity.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.
The origin of blessing is never any works. Grace and works, therefore, are mutually exclusive. They cannot coexist. At no point in the spiritual advance is legitimate production, illegitimate production, or any other works or self-righteousness a factor in blessing. Any system of self or works righteousness is a hindrance to the advance of the believer. All blessing after salvation, whether logistical or special, originates from the justice of God and is imputed to its target or home, the imputed righteousness of God now resident in every believer.
Because of grace in every era of history there has always been a remnant, a pivot of mature believers. Spiritual momentum and motivation is based on grace. Apostasy and reversionism is based on self-righteousness and the expression of self-righteousness in human works. Therefore, grace and works are mutually exclusive.
What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not been obtained but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened.
The Jews have the greatest spiritual heritage in history. And, when they started out in the Exodus they had tremendous wealth and possessions. Since God has not cast out Israel and although many Jews have failed, even as many Christians are failing today, does it mean the plan of God is cancelled? God never changes His plans to accommodate failure! God’s plan doesn’t depend on us.
Just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor. Eyes to see not and ears to hear not.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened to see not, and bend their backs forever.”
Paul quoted verses from the Old Testament to confirm what he was teaching regarding the blindness of Israel to the truth of the Gospel. Stupor is the Greek word “katanuxis,” and it means insensibility. Insensibility is a dulling of the spiritual senses and comes from arrogance (thinking you know better than God). This is scar tissue of the soul, which is part of reversionism and results from maximum negative volition toward Jesus Christ.
The table (represents the priestly functions) is the spiritual heritage of the client nation, the snare is doctrine and the Gospel, the trap is the rituals demonstrating the Gospel, and the stumbling block is the doctrine of the first coming of Christ with emphasis on the Cross. The retribution is the five cycles of discipline, the fifth of which destroys the client nation. The spiritual heritage of Israel is so extensive that there is no excuse for rejection of Christ as Savior. (Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10; 6:9-10)
Darkened eyes and bent backs refer to scar tissue of the soul and black out of the soul, which hinder faith in Christ for the unbeliever and the execution of the Christian Way of Life for the believer. The believer is given the righteousness of God at salvation along with a new spiritual nature (the human spirit). Therefore, the potential exists to renew your mind (Divine Viewpoint Thinking) by means of the filling (control) of the Holy Spirit. Renewal of your mind removes the build up of scar tissue on the soul and can bring any believer back from a state of blackout of the soul who becomes positive toward Bible doctrine and is willing to make the effort to advance spiritually.