I ask, then, has God rejected his people, the Jews? Of course not! Remember that I myself am a Jew, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning. Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? Elijah the prophet complained to God about the people of Israel and said,
"Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too." a4
And do you remember God's reply? He said, "You are not the only one left. I have seven thousand others who have never bowed down to Baal!" b5
It is the same today, for not all the Jews have turned away from God. A few c are being saved as a result of God's kindness in choosing them.
And if they are saved by God's kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God's wonderful kindness would not be what it really is -- free and undeserved.
So this is the situation: Most of the Jews have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. A few have -- the ones God has chosen -- but the rest were made unresponsive.
As the Scriptures say, "God has put them into a deep sleep. To this very day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear." d9
David spoke of this same thing when he said, "Let their bountiful table become a snare, a trap that makes them think all is well. Let their blessings cause them to stumble.
Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and let their backs grow weaker and weaker." e
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)