1) Post-exodus Israel was clearly the elect. The Bible says so over and over.
2) Yet some of them (almost all of them, really) failed to uphold the covenant and perished as a result.
How did that happen? Don't say 'they made a choice.' That's a given. Look at what underlies that choice.
You have claimed that God pre-determines the natures and nurtures of men in such a way that they will choose God or against God. Were these Israelites elected against? No! Such a thing is impossible. They cannot be both the elect and elected against.
Revisiting this thread after some time away. I think I'm getting to the bottom of such a simple but profound ignorance of Scripture's teachings as the answer is spelled out so many ways and so many times such as by Jesus who speaks to Israelites as some of them not being true descendants of Abraham:John 8:39
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did.
And you need to comprehend Romans 9 to get the answer to this question, which directly confronts the very question of how Israel could have fallen way despite being "chosen" and the answer is absolutely not "free will." Scripture contains no discussion of "free will" at all and no one needed any exploration of this theology to understand the concept of people making choices and experiencing consequences.
Israel was a fleshly elect that was symbolic of the spiritual one, and so "Natural branches" were "broken off" for ingrafted ones. This is discussed in Romans 11.
What's the concept of "natural branches"? Yes, Israel was the elect in the fleshly sense, but ultimately, not the spiritual elect.
You can see this all over Jesus' message and also Paul's epistles that the true "sons of Abraham" were those of faith, which perplexed many faithless Israelites. There is a fleshly "chosen people" which was Israel, just as they were fleshly descendants of Abraham, but this is overridden by the spiritual elect, who are spiritual children of Abraham. Israel was chosen as they were fleshly descendants but broken off for lack of faith.
Who can pick his parents? And yet Jesus said to those chosen Israelites that they were not true descendants of Abraham, whereas believing Gentiles were -- the spiritual election, the spiritual Israel, even.Romans 9:6 "For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel."
And that is a head-on statement: "Israel" is indeed the elect, and yet many fleshly Israelites in fact are not true Israelites and it is as spelled-out as much as it possibly could have been. Fleshly Israelites can't pick their ancestors, and SPIRITUAL Israelites can't pick their actual "author and finisher of their faith" (Hebrews 12:2) either. Israelites is indeed synonymous with those elected for grace, and not all of them are fleshly Israelites.Acts 13:48And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
These Gentiles were "appointed" (meaning chosen) to CHOOSE to believe, as I see that people feel comfortable inserting the word "choose" in front of anyone's behavior which is perfectly fine -- I don't dispute the implication of doing something meaning "choosing" to do something and, as some seem to struggle to comprehend, pretty much no one really does.
As far as others' arguments, here is what I see people coercing their Bibles into saying in Romans 9:20
"Will that which exists on its own say to someone who just happens to exist alongside it: why did you decide to use me for these purposes? Doesn't the potter have the right to use these pieces of pottery that happen to be lying around for whatever his purposes are?"
Basically, people who are opposing determinism take everything about the message of a creator/creation relationship out of the message and so fill the exact role that Paul actually describes. Because what it actually says is,
"Why have you MADE me like this."Romans 9:20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”
Not, "why did you manage to 'use' me for these purposes?" No, this hypothetical figure says: "why have you made me like this." The potter has the right to MAKE pieces of pottery for the purposes of his will, not just use them after the fact. "Free will" is clearly the phrase used by those who are disturbed by what Scripture actually says and aren't admitting it. Many are concocting a detailed "free will" theology, utterly foreign to Scripture, and revile God as creator.