1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Paul now turned to giving reasons why God does not reject His people Israel. First, he offered himself as an example—he was a Jew.
For I also am an Israelite,
Paul gave an example of himself as an Israelite, part of the remnant. He was a full-blooded Jew.
He identified himself as the initial proof that God did not cast away Israel. He was clearly a Jew with specific credentials. The remainder of this verse plainly validates Paul as a person within Israel, an ethnic Israelite. He was part of the remnant of the nation Israel.
of the seed of Abraham,
Paul put himself forth as a representative Jew. Abraham was the first Jew; he was a Gentile before he believed God’s promise (Ge 15-18). He was held in high veneration because of he was the father of the nation. By referring to Abraham, Paul implied that he was part of the Abrahamic covenant, which set apart the Jews as a chosen people. The “seed of Abraham” refers to Abraham’s physical descendants.
2 Co 11: 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
God’s Abrahamic covenant was unconditional; that is, it did not depend on actions of people but solely on the action of God. There were some covenants that depended on whether people obeyed them or not; these covenants were conditional. The Abrahamic covenant is an inviolable oath God made to keep His promise to Abraham. God will fulfill that promise to Abraham without any conditions; it was a promise of irrevocable grace. Although some in Israel might reject God’s promise, He cannot go back on His Word.
of the tribe of Benjamin.
Benjamin was the smallest of all the tribes of Israel but it was the home of Saul, the first king of Israel. Benjamin himself was the only son of Jacob born in the land of Israel. The tribe of Benjamin was true to the tribe of Judah. No one needs further proof that God has not rejected Israel other than Paul himself as an authentic Jew. Note what Paul said of himself:
Ph 3: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
God will be vindicated by His faithfulness to the Jews in Israel’s future.
God did not reject Israel absolutely; He kept a remnant of Jews for Himself. Paul himself was a Jew, which shows God had not abandoned the Jews altogether.
Christians can count on God’s faithfulness to His promises. We can claim those promises because God will never go back on His word.