11 So here is what I ask. Did God turn his back on his people? Not at all! I myself belong to Israel. I am one of Abraham’s children. I am from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God didn’t turn his back on his people. After all, he chose them. Don’t you know what Scripture says about Elijah? He complained to God about Israel. 3 He said, “Lord, they have killed your prophets. They have torn down your altars. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.” (1 Kings 19:10,14) 4 How did God answer him? God said, “I have kept 7,000 people for myself. They have not bowed down to Baal.” (1 Kings 19:18) 5 Some are also faithful today. They have been chosen by God’s grace. 6 And if they are chosen by grace, it is no longer a matter of working for it. If it were, grace wouldn’t be grace anymore. 7 What should we say then? Israel did not receive what they wanted so badly. But those who were chosen did. God made the rest of them stubborn. 8 It is written, “God made it hard for them to understand. He gave them eyes that could not see. He gave them ears that could not hear. And they are still like that today.” (Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10) 9 David says, “Let their feast be a trap and a snare. Let it make Israel trip and fall. Let Israel get what’s coming to them. 10 Let their eyes grow dark so they can’t see. Let their backs be bent forever.” (Psalm 69:22,23)
Curious that Paul spends so much time writing about the Jews in a letter to non-Jews. Clearly, there are universal principles here that Paul wants to make sure the Roman Christians (and us) don’t miss.
There are time when we all feel alone in life. Maybe through struggles or tragedy or trials. We may feel alone in our faith like Elijah did in v2 – like we are the only one going through it – whatever the ‘it’ might be. We feel that way – but that’s all it is. A feeling. The truth is we are never alone. God has promised to never leave us (Deut 31:8). That’s not based on a feeling – that’s fact!
For me, it’s times when I feel alone that getting to Church is absolutely essential. Our Heavenly Father lovingly and carefully plants us in a family of people who are either feeling the same way as us and will walk the journey with us or have already walked the journey and can guide us through. Either way my feelings of being alone could not be further from the truth.
Lord, thank you so much for planting me in Church and for the iron-clad promise of never leaving me alone. Grant me greater courage and humility to seek the help of the amazingly faithful people You have placed around me. Amen
Written by Boudy Van Noppen