Romans 11:1-4 I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot you not what the scripture said of Elias? how he makes intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what said the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
‘Has God cast away his people? … Wot you not what the scripture said of Elias? … But what said the answer of God unto him?’ What shall we conclude? Has God cast off Israel completely and permanently? God forbid. I am an Israelite myself and proof that God is not through with Jews, but willing to save all that will believe.
‘I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.’ Paul refers to himself here as proof that God did not cast away His people.
‘Which he foreknew’ God’s foreknowledge [Greek: prognosis] is a perceiving beforehand where it refers to God seeing ahead. God’s invitations, promises, provision, and warnings of punishment are general for all people are invited to choose life and are warned of eternal punishment if they do not do so.
‘Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life’ quoted from 1Kings 19:10-18. This proves the doctrine of the remnant, according to the election of grace (11:5-6; Isa. 1:9).
‘I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal’ – this illustrates how God can reserve 144,000 Jews to Himself after the rapture and during the first 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5).
‘Baal’ the name of the idol god of Moab, and Peor was the name of the place where the idol was worshipped (Num. 25:18; 23:28; Jos. 22:17; Hos. 9:10). Baal-worship was the state religion of Israel under Ahab and Jezebel. It was with this god that Elijah had his great contest (1Kin. 18:1-46). Baal was the male sun-god worshipped as the chief deity among heathen nations in western Asia (Num. 22:41; Jud. 2:13; 6:25-32; 1Kin. 16:31-32; 18:19-26,40; 19:18; 1Kin. 22:53; 2Kin. 3:2; 10:18-28; 11:18; 17:16; 21:3; 23:4-5; 1Chron. 4:33; 5:5; 8:30; 9:36; 2Chron. 23:17; Jer. 2:8; 7:9; 11:13, 17; 12:16; 19:5; 23:13, 27; 32:29, 35; Hos. 2:8; 13:1; Zeph. 1:4; Rom. 11:4). His altars and sanctuaries were located on high places-even the summits of high mountains-in order to get the first view of the rising sun, the last of the setting sun. The sun was believed to be the source and emblem of all life and the generative power of nature.