‘God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew! Do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah…, saying: “Lord, they have killed Your Prophets and dug down Your altars! And I alone am left, and they are seeking my life!” But what does the answer of God say to him? “I have reserved to Myself 7000 men who have not bowed the knee to Baal!”‘ Romans 11:2-4.
Calvin comments: “‘God did not cast off His people (– those that formerly were His people, cast themselves off)!’… The rejection of the Jews is not of such a character as to render void the promise of God…. God has by no means rejected the whole race of Abraham…. The general rejection, was not able to prevent some seed from being saved….
“Outward calling by itself, is ineffectual without faith…. Paul derives the origin of God’s steadfastness, from His secret election…. He always reserves His Church, as long as the elect remain….
“‘(Do you not know) what the Scripture says?!’… There were so few of the Jews who had believed in Christ…. Paul employs the very suitable example of Elijah, in whose time He recalls there had been such a desolation — that there no longer remained any appearance of a Church. And yet, when no trace of the grace of God was visible, the Church of God was as it were hidden in a tomb — and in this way, was marvellously preserved!…
“If that distinguished Prophet who was so endowed with the light of the Spirit was deceived in this way when he desired to reckon the number of God’s people by his own judgment — what will be the case with us? For our highest discernment, when compared to his, is nothing but dullness!… The Church…is nourished by the secret providence of God….. God has a way, accessible to Himself but concealed from us, by which He wonderfully preserves His elect — even when all seems lost!…
“How much Elijah honoured the Lord!… He did not hesitate to oppose his own nation for the glory of God, and to pray for its utter destruction — because he thought that the religion and worship of God had perished in Israel!…. He considered that he alone was left!
“‘(But, said God:) “I have left for Myself 7000 men!”‘… It was quite certainly the will of the Lord to specify a great multitude!… However ungodliness may abound in every part of the world and fearful confusion press us on all sides, yet the salvation of many remains secure under the seal of God!…
“However…, we should again observe that only those who remain sound and undefiled in the faith of God — are said to be saved…. Only those who did not prostitute their body to the worship of idols, even by an outward act of pretence, remain unharmed.. The writer of the passage grants not only that they have purity of mind, but also that they had kept their body undefiled!”
Wicked Israelites killed God’s Prophets and hounded Elijah! But God stood by the latter!