Scripture Reading: Romans 11:1-4 (New International Version)
1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:
3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
Thought for the day:
I trust you’ve had a good summer and that you’re ready to dive back into the book of Romans. Things get a lot easier in chapter 12, but before we get there, we have to wade through some of the choppy waters of chapter 11! I’ll do my best to ease you back into the devotions today, however, I’m sure that there could be more than a few strong coffee days ahead. Ok, let’s go.
If you have read these first few verses of Romans 11, it is quite clear that the theme in this early part of the chapter is ‘rejection’ and in particular God’s rejection of His people or as some term it ‘Divine Rejection’. The apostle Paul has already discussed this partially in other places, in particular where he talks about Esau and Jacob. Firstly, any seeming rejection by God is certainly not complete. Psalm 139 is so clear in that we can never depart from God’s presence. He is always with us and never completely rejects us even if we can’t see it at the time.
Many years ago, while Cath and I were dating (or courting as we used to call it in those days), I decided that I didn’t want to see her again and broke everything off in a particularly nasty way. For over three years, I chose to not date her and was seeing other girls. Even though Cath was being rejected by me, I can honestly say that rarely did a day go by when I didn’t think about her. Thankfully, she graciously put up with me for those years and now we’ve been married for 32 years. My rejection of her was partial and temporary. You see, the word ‘rejection’ is such a harsh word and has many, many negative connotations that it sometimes blinds us to the truth of God’s Word when He speaks of rejection. There are two parallel truths that are continually in ‘tension’ with each, one is rejection and the other is election.
Prayer and Application:
Every person justifiably could be rejected by God, but praise Him that we have been called and chosen because of His grace.