Seven-thousand. I just cannot stop thinking about the 7,000 people that God told Elijah he had reserved for himself who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
Elijah, the prophet, thought he was all that was left who held fast to God. He felt alone. (I Kings 19:14-18) At least, that’s what he told God. But there were actually seven-thousand people, seven-thousand individuals who had all had a personal encounter with God, whose heart was turned to God. For some reason, that just amazes me.
We have absolutely no idea who those seven-thousand were. They are not identified in the Bible, we don’t know their names, we don’t know their story, nor their journey, but their names are written in the Book of Life. In fact, there names were written down before the foundation of the world. God told Jeremiah:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
In the book of Romans,
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. ESV
and in Ephesians,
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him, in love. 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of |sons| by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Ephesians 1:4-5 KJV
God knew the seven thousand before the foundation of the world? Yes. In the general sense, God knows all of us, for he created each of us, but “knowing” in this sense, means that God set his love upon, in the same way as Adam “knowing” Eve, or Abraham knowing Sarah. It is better illustrated when God chooses Israel:
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples… Deuteronomy 7:6-7 ESV
For some reason, this is so absolutely comforting to me. I am glad that God’s grace extends to so many, who have their own stories, and very different journeys.
Although the world may seem to be going off the deep end, just as the children of Israel in Elijah’s day, who had forsaken God, and gone after idols, bowed the knee to Baal; God is still calling a people. They are living all over the world, of every nation, tribe and tongue. We don’t know their names, nor their stories, but they have all met or will meet Christ as their Savior at the appointed time written in eternity past, and Christ will be revealed in them. (Galatians 1:10)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2:9-10 ESV
Knowing God is still calling a people in our world of seemingly unending chaos, and abandonment of him, we must share the gospel, and pray the spread of it so that those whose names we’ll never know on this side, but who God knows, can begin their journey in Christ Jesus.