Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, August 15, 2023

One In Messiah part 38 – Romans, part 149

Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He knew beforehand. Or do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Adonai, they have killed your prophets, they have destroyed your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So in the same way also at this present time there has come to be a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.

Paul begins verse two the same way he began verse one, by saying, “God has not rejected His people….”  Likewise; this time he also offers evidence.   In verse one, Paul offers himself as evidence that God has not forsaken Israel.  Then, in verse two, he brings the remnant into the spotlight.  First, he mentions the remnant in Elijah’s day.  Then, in verse 5, Paul mentions that even as he was writing to the Romans (“at this present time”) there is a remnant by God’s grace.

Rabbi Trail:  In Hebrew, “Sarid,” the concept of “remnant” is connected to “survivor.”   It is used 28 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.  This verse, Romans 11:5, is the only place the Greek word “Lemma” (two syllables pronounced “lime’-mah”) appears in Scripture.  Other words are used in other places for “left” or “left behind.” End RT.

Why should we find this significant?  Because of the way God works.  God populates the world through one man, Adam.  God saved the world through one man, Noah.  God redeems the world through one man, Yeshua.  And in each of these instances, God moves from the one to a few more.  Those few can be considered a remnant or survivor in their own way.

This is especially easy to see with Yeshua and His disciples, first the One, then the few.  Yet, the intention all along is to save the world.  John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  This is exactly Paul’s point later in this chapter.  Romans 11:26a and in this way all Israel will be saved.  (But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Many Jewish followers of Yeshua initially feel like they are the only Jewish person to have received this truth.  Shomair Yisrael, and many other Messianic congregations, exist so that the truth will be known.  There is no greater call on the life of any person, Jewish or non-Jewish than to follow the Jewish Messiah.  Paul is writing about Jewish people, so let’s focus there for a moment.  Today, there are many Jewish followers of Yeshua.  There always have been.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 15 Aug 2023 28th of Av, 5783
De 18:1-5 Ez 48 1 Ch 27 Tit 1 (Jn 13)