I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
"Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life."
But what is the divine reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,
as it is written, "God gave them a sluggish spirit, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day."
And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and keep their backs forever bent."