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Romans 11:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But what saith the answer of God - The answer which God made assured him that there were seven thousand, that is, several or many thousands; for so we must understand the word seven, a certain for an uncertain number. These had continued faithful to God; but, because of Jezebel's persecution, they were obliged to conceal their attachment to the true religion; and God, in his providence, preserved them from her sanguinary rage.

Who have not bowed the knee - Baal was the god of Jezebel; or, in other words, his worship was then the worship of the state; but there were several thousands of pious Israelites who had not acknowledged this idol, and did not partake in the idolatrous worship.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The answer of God - ὁ χρηματισμός ho chrēmatismosThis word is used no where else in the New Testament. It means an oracle, a divine response. It does not indicate the manner in which it was done, but implies only that it was an oracle, or answer made to his complaint by God. Such an answer, at such a time, would be full of comfort, and silence every complaint. The way in which this answer was in fact given, was not in a storm, or an earthquake, but in a still, small voice; 1 Kings 19:11-12.

I have reserved - The Hebrew is, “I have caused to remain,” or to be reserved. This shows that it was of God that this was done. Amidst the general corruption and idolatry he had restrained a part, though it was a remnant. The honor of having done it he claims for himself, and does not trace it to any goodness or virtue in them. So in the case of all those who are saved from sin and ruin, the honor belongs not to man, but to God.

To myself - For my own service and glory. I have kept them steadfast in my worship, and have not suffered them to become idolaters.

Seven thousand men - Seven is often used in the Scriptures to denote an indefinite or round number. Perhaps it may be so here, to intimate that there was a considerable number remaining. This should lead us to hope that even in the darkest times in the church, there may be many more friends of God than we suppose. Elijah supposed he was alone; and yet at that moment there were thousands who were the true friends of God; a small number, indeed, compared with the multitude of idolaters; but large when compared with what was supposed to be remaining by the dejected and disheartened prophet.

Who have not bowed the knee - To bow or bend the knee is an expression denoting worship; Philemon 2:10; Ephesians 3:14; Isaiah 45:23.

To Baal - The word “Baal” in Hebrew means Lord, or Master. This was the name of an idol of the Phenicians and Canaanites, and was worshipped also by the Assyrians and Babylonians under the name of Bel; (compare the Book of Bel in the Apocrypha.) This god was represented under the image of a bull, or a calf; the one denoting the Sun, the other the Moon. The prevalent worship in the time of Elijah was that of this idol.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There was a chosen remnant of believing Jews, who had righteousness and life by faith in Jesus Christ. These were kept according to the election of grace. If then this election was of grace, it could not be of works, either performed or foreseen. Every truly good disposition in a fallen creature must be the effect, therefore it cannot be the cause, of the grace of God bestowed on him. Salvation from the first to the last must be either of grace or of debt. These things are so directly contrary to each other that they cannot be blended together. God glorifies his grace by changing the hearts and tempers of the rebellious. How then should they wonder and praise him! The Jewish nation were as in a deep sleep, without knowledge of their danger, or concern about it; having no sense of their need of the Saviour, or of their being upon the borders of eternal ruin. David, having by the Spirit foretold the sufferings of Christ from his own people, the Jews, foretells the dreadful judgments of God upon them for it, Ps 69. This teaches us how to understand other prayers of David against his enemies; they are prophecies of the judgments of God, not expressions of his own anger. Divine curses will work long; and we have our eyes darkened, if we are bowed down in worldly-mindedness.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 67.5

As in the days of Elijah, God had seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal, so today He has in the world many who are walking in all the light they have received. A whole firmament of chosen ones has He in reserve, that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness. In places where there might be expected only briars and thorns, fruit-bearing trees of righteousness will appear. In such places as these there are those who will bloom more sweetly for the Lord than many who live in more favored places. All around them they will shed the fragrance of His grace as they bloom in most unpromising places.—Letter 39, February 28, 1903, to J. Wessells. TDG 67.5

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 387

The Best Help—To start medical missionary work in New York will be the best thing that you can do. I have been shown that if in this work there could be men and women of experience, who would give a correct representation of true medical missionary work, it would have great power in making a correct impression on the people.—Letter 195, 1901. Ev 387.1

Cosmopolitan Medical Evangelism—In New York there are many who are ripe for the harvest. In this great city there are thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. The angel said, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” New York contains a part of the “all people.” We desire to see the new year open with teachers at work in all parts of New York. There is a work to be done in this city.... In our large cities the medical missionary work must go hand in hand with the gospel ministry. It will open doors for the entrance of truth.—Manuscript 117, 1901. Ev 387.2

Startling Notices Detrimental—Some time ago Elder _____ got out some very startling notices regarding the destruction of New York. I wrote immediately to the ones in charge of the work there, saying that it was not wise to publish such notices, that thus an excitement might be aroused which would result in a fanatical movement, hurting the cause of God. It is enough to present the truth of the Word of God to the people. Startling notices are detrimental to the progress of His work.... Ev 387.3

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 303-4

Let companies now be quickly organized to go out two and two, and labor in the Spirit of Christ, following His plans. Even though some Judas may introduce himself into the ranks of the workers, the Lord will care for the work. His angels will go before and prepare the way. Before this time, every large city should have heard the testing message, and thousands should have been brought to a knowledge of the truth. Wake up the churches, take the light from under the bushel. MM 303.1

Where are the men who will work and study and agonize in prayer as did Christ? We are not to confine our efforts to a few places. “If they shall persecute you in one city, flee ye to another.” Let Christ's plan be followed. He was ever watching for opportunities to engage in personal labor, ever ready to interest and draw men to a study of the Scriptures. He labored patiently for men who had not an intelligent knowledge of what is truth. While we are not awake to the situation, and while much time is consumed in planning how to reach perishing souls, Satan is busy devising and blocking the way. MM 303.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1114

The gospel message is far from being opposed to true knowledge and intellectual attainments. It is itself true science, true intellectual knowledge. True wisdom is infinitely above the comprehension of the worldly wise. The hidden wisdom, which is Christ formed within, the hope of glory, is a wisdom high as heaven. The deep principles of godliness are sublime and eternal. A Christian experience alone can help us to understand this problem, and obtain the treasures of knowledge which have been hidden in the counsels of God, but are now made known to all who have a vital connection with Christ. All who will may know of the doctrine (The Review and Herald, July 18, 1899). 6BC 1114.1

4. See EGW on 2 Peter 1:10. 6BC 1114.2

4, 5, 11 (Romans 8:29, 30; 1 Peter 1:2). God's Predestination—The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child's simplicity, will be among the elect of God.... 6BC 1114.3

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