2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,
Paul now turned to the second evidence of why God did not cast away Israel as a nation, using an illustration from the life of Elijah.
Or [introduces an alternative] do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah,
Paul’s second proof that God did not cast away Israel was an event during Elijah’s ministry. He complained to God against Israel’s apostasy, for Ahab and Jezebel introduced Baal worship in Israel. Elijah personally confronted this apostasy.
Elijah challenged the priest of Baal to a miracle. The false prophets were to ask Baal to send fire to consume their sacrifice on an altar. Then Elijah would ask God to bring down fire to consume the sacrifice on his altar when the priests of Baal failed to bring down the fire on their sacrifice. God not only consumed the sacrifice of Elijah, but he consumed the 400 priests as well. This was a mighty miracle and victory.
When the news of Elijah’s victory reached Jezebel, she threatened to kill Elijah, so for forty days he ran far away from her threat—to Mount Horeb. It was at this point he made his complaint against God.
While in the wilderness God cared for him and met his needs (1 Kgs 18:4-8), even though he did not trust God at the time.
how he pleads with God against Israel,
Elijah petitioned the Lord against Israel; they had broken God’s covenant by rejecting and killing the prophets and overturning the altars because of their belief in Baal worship. His plead to God was to deal severely with this apostasy.
Paul references 1 Kings 19:10, 14 in verse 3.
God’s plan depends on Himself and not on man.
If the plan of God depended on man, then it would be no greater than man. Christian personal failures cannot change the plan of God because it is impossible for God to fail.
In any case it is not the size of sin but the fact that we have any sin in our lives. The idea of comparing greater and smaller sins is to misunderstand who God is. God is perfect. We can never enter His presence even with one flash of pride.
Because God is perfect, He had to deal with all sin—great sins, small sins, any sins—to deliver us into His presence. He could never excuse, condone, or permit any sin of any kind to enter His presence. He did this through the blood of Christ who perfectly paid for all our sin of all time.