Romans 11:5-10 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeks for; but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David said, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
‘Remnant’ – the doctrine of the remnant always refers to Judah and the other tribes of Israel, never to Gentiles or the body of Christ. It teaches that God is obligated to save a remnant of all Israel, so as to preserve their line to eventually fulfil with them the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. God promised an eternal line to these men, and He promised their descendants an eternal land (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:18-21; 17:2-8, 19; 21:12; 22:17-18; 26:3-4; 28:3-4, 13-15; 2Sam. 7:1-29). God often predicted the deliverance and preservation of a remnant of the thirteen tribes and their final and eternal restoration under their Messiah (Isa. 1:9; 10:20-22; 11:10-12, 11:16; 38:1-22; 46:3; Jer. 23:3; 31:7; 39:9; 40:11; Ezek. 6:8-10; Joel 2:32; Mic. 2:12; 5:3-8; Zeph. 2:7-9; 3:13; Zech. 8:6-12; Rom. 9:27; 11:5; Rev. 12:17). According to Isaiah 1:9 Isaiah predicted that a very small remnant would be saved in the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem; otherwise Israel would have been totally destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.
‘Election of grace’ – grace elects to save all that will believe. Anyone chosen of God at any time, Jew or Gentile, is the elect of God (9:11; 11:5, 7, 28; 1Thess. 1:4; 1Pet. 5:13; 2Pet. 1:10). All men are called to become God’s elect or chosen ones and can be if they will choose God (Matt. 11:28-30; 20:16; John 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; Jas. 2:5; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).
‘And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace’ – the Jews were saved by grace and not because of any connection with a covenant of works. If it were of works, then it would cease to be a free and unmerited gift.
‘What then?’ What then is the real case under discussion? It is this, Israel has so earnestly desired. The election or chosen ones only have obtained it. The rest have been blinded.
‘God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear’ this is the 12th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (11:8; Isa. 29:10). The very Word of God that should have awakened them has blinded them. God is not to blame, Israel is (9:12-18).
‘Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock …’ this is the 13th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (11:9-10; Ps. 69:22-23). Their table (i.e., providential blessings) become a snare, a trap, a stumbling block and a means of punishment.