It's so sad how quickly the Israelites forgot about God. They didn't drive out the Canaanites completely, as God had commanded. Instead, they lived among them, intermarried with them, and were ultimately led astray by them - exactly what God had warned them against. Yet, over and over again, He gave them another chance, He raised up a judge to rescue them, He extended grace.
Eventually, the Israelites would become so disobedient that God would reject them as His people, and His grace would be extended to the Gentiles. This is what our NT passage points to....
25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
We, Gentile Christians, were not a part of Israel, God's covenant people. And our salvation came about, in part, because His people rejected God's grace. This must make us exceedingly humble. God's grace reaches beyond Abraham's children, it reaches people in the midst of the worst of sins, it resurrects those who are spiritually dead. It is amazing grace indeed!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44