I chose you before you chose me

The title post is taken from a quote in Rushdoony’s The Christian Revolution

Paul writes,

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles

I used to take this chapter to mean the election was a corporate one in which the Gentiles replaced Israel.  The problem, the tension, is that if such a view is true, then this paragraph makes no sense at all.   If election is simply a corporate definition, then who cares about which group is now the representative of salvation?  All I have to do is join that group.  Also, if election is corporate then why does God speak of vessels (plural) of wrath?