We need to understand whether the Jews still are the people of God. The Jews are Israelís people, the nation that came from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God made promises to those men about the future of their family. That is why we call the Jews ĎGodís special peopleí. However, it has always been true that many Jews are not loyal to God. So we need to understand whether their evil behaviour has destroyed Godís relationship with their nation. In other words, we need to know whether God will still carry out his promises to Israel.
In his reply to that question, Paul first refers to his own experience. He himself belongs to Israel; he therefore claims his own rights in the promises that God gave to Abraham. Paul came from the tribe (group of families) that came from Benjamin, Jacobís youngest son. Clearly, Paul received his original name, Saul, in honour of King Saul, who also came from the tribe of Benjamin.
At the time of Paul, very many other Jews were also serving God loyally. In fact, all the first Christians were, like Paul, Jews. However, at the time of Elijah, the situation had been much worse. Elijah believed himself to be the only person in Israel who was still loyal to God. Still at that time, God insisted that Israel remained his people. God told Elijah about 7000 men in Israel whom God had chosen to serve him (God) (11:2-4).
At the present time, the situation continues to be like that (9:5). Some Jews serve God loyally, and some do not. Godís relationship with Israel continues by means of those who are loyal to him.
Next part: The people whom God 'knows' (Romans 11:2)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.