I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah — how he pleads with God against Israel?
Lord, they have killed Your prophets
and torn down Your altars.
I am the only one left,
and they are trying to take my life!
But what was God’s reply to him? I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal. In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, as it is written:
God gave them a spirit of insensitivity,
eyes that cannot see
and ears that cannot hear,
to this day.
And David says:
Let their feasting become a snare and a trap,
a pitfall and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent continually.