Scripture Reading: Romans 11:2-6 (English Standard Version)
2 Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?
3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”
4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
Thought for the day:
Many years ago, during the latter part of my rugby playing days, I played out on the wing. For anyone not familiar with the game, at the level I was playing, this position generally meant that the ball rarely got to me and for most of the time I would be standing many metres away from my closest colleague. The person closest to me was from the opposing side and for much of the time, we traded insults and occasionally a punch or two. It certainly felt very lonely on the field and I often questioned my role within the team as I didn’t seem to get a lot of support.
However, on the odd occasion that the ball did get to me, things were very different. For a few minutes, I was on my own but then suddenly, the other players would get behind me and ensure that we kept possession of the ball and did all they could to protect me and the ball. If I was tackled badly or punched, within seconds, my fellow teammates would rally around me and start fighting for me.
Elijah felt that he was alone in his service to God and was convinced that there was no-one else that could help or support him. He was afraid that his life would be taken and appealed to God for help against Israel.
God’s reply is really important and gives us an insight into how God ‘works’. Elijah may have thought he was surrounded by his enemies, but God had already prepared a people that would be faithful to God.
The apostle Paul used this story from the Old Testament and then applies it to the current day. He clearly states that even if the majority of Israel rejected God and followed other gods, there was a remnant preserved by grace. God hadn’t rejected Israel completely. He didn’t then and He doesn’t now. Many people believe that this does not apply today and that somehow God has finished with Israel but I cannot see any support for this position anywhere in the Scripture.
Prayer and Application:
Even though our verses today are all about Israel, we can safely say that God will never leave us alone either. As we spend some time in prayer today, thank Him for His continual presence in our lives.