Some of Israel's people do trust God
1 So, I ask this: ‘Has God turned away from his people?’ No, certainly, he has not done that! I myself belong to Israel's people. I am a descendant of Abraham and I belong to Benjamin's family group. 2 God chose who would be his people from the beginning. He has not turned against them now. Remember what the Bible tells us about Elijah. He wanted God to punish Israel's people. Elijah said: 3 ‘Lord God, they have killed your prophets. They have destroyed the altars where people offered sacrifices to you. I am the only person alive who still serves you. And they are trying to kill me.’ 4 This was God's answer to Elijah: ‘There are still 7,000 men that I have kept for myself. Those men have not worshipped the false god Baal.’
5 It is the same at this time too. There is a small number of Israel's people that God has chosen to trust him. He has chosen them because he is very kind. 6 This shows that God has not chosen them because of any good things that they have done. If that was true, we could not say that God was really being kind to them. It would not be his gift.
7 So, we can say this: Israel's people did not all find what they were looking for. Only those people that God had chosen received it. But the other people of Israel became unable to understand God's message. 8 It says this in the Bible:
‘God caused them to be like people who are sleeping.
Even until this day, their eyes cannot really see,
and their ears cannot really hear.’
9 King David says this:
‘They enjoy eating lots of good food together.
I pray that God will catch them while they are eating!
I want those good things to lead them into trouble.
I want God to punish them because of what they have done.
10 I want their eyes to become dark so that they cannot see.
I want their bodies always to be in pain, like slaves.’
11 So, now I ask this: ‘When Israel's people failed to accept Jesus as God's Messiah, did they make themselves separate from God for ever?’ No, certainly that is not true! Because of their mistake, God is now saving Gentiles. God is doing that so that Israel's people would become jealous. 12 Because of their mistake, God has done good things for everyone in the world. Israel's people failed to receive what God wanted to give them. As a result, the Gentiles have received very many good things from God. That was the good result when Israel's people failed. So, when the complete number of Israel's people do turn to God, the result will be even better!