Paul makes sure the Gentiles know that not all Jews rejected Jesus. God has made sure to keep a portion of people faithful to Him throughout history.
From the beginning of time there were those who remained faithful and close to God, no matter what the climate was like around them. A perfect example of that is Noah. The line of Seth, Adam and Eve’s third son, remained close to God. Without the father’s example how would Noah have learned of God? I’m not sure why this particular family remained set apart in the natural world but I place it squarely at God’s feet in the spiritual world.
Side note: Noah had personal exposure to Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech. He missed meeting Adam, Seth, and Enoch. He had a rich history of elders to teach him about God. Methuselah actually perished in the flood. Lamech died five years before it. Adam missed Enoch’s sudden departure but from Seth to Lamech all were alive to witness his absence. I wonder how long they searched for him. (My figures all came out of Genesis 5 and 9.)
Sorry, I got sidetracked. We see the genealogy continue all the way to Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, but we see many more examples of God holding onto the hands of a few individuals after Noah. One of the most notable is Abraham. From there we directly follow a whole family God set apart.
I’m pretty sure there were other people in the world who recognized that there was a Creator as God tells us that even creation shouts His name. But they didn’t have a personal relationship/standing with Him, yet.
Those who did have that special standing didn’t earn it. Their behavior over the centuries proved that on more than one occasion. God showed them mercy over and Over and OVER again. When they finally decided to try “living up to their end of the bargain” their behavior was not what God had called for. It was a system instead. A system of how to get God to “perform.” “If I do A then God HAS to do B.” It didn’t work that way then and it still doesn’t now, contrary to some people’s beliefs. Their system lacked the relationship portion that a covenant is built on in the first place. They were treating God as if He was in a “contract” with them instead. Even under those rules though they still fell short.
But did you notice that there WERE people who listened to Jesus within the larger group? Lots of them even. There was that “remnant” again. Those who followed didn’t earn that position either. Jesus showed them mercy when He chose them as His disciples. If you are ever in doubt of that, go back and read how they fell short on faith so many times.
So even the “chosen” needed grace. That is the gift God offers freely now to everyone. Our world is changing and following Jesus is not as “popular” as it used to be. But God still has those who He speaks to their hearts. I may not be a part of Israel’s remnant but I’m part of those covered by His garment.
Thank You Father that You included me in Your plan. Thank You for giving me an inquisitive mind. Thank You that You spoke through all the generations and kept Your name alive. Thank You for not giving up on us, even though we certainly deserved it. Thank You that You extended Your invitation to those of us outside Your “focus group.” I can think of no other place I’d rather be than in Your family. Nothing else even holds a candle to the joy and peace I receive from being Your child. Thank You for being the very fabric of my life.