Amidst all the turmoil for Israel foretold by Isaiah in chapter after chapter, God lists the sins of not only Israel but the nations around them and still God provides a note of hope. God tells Isaiah that there will be a remnant of His people that will remain or return. In Hezekiah’s day a small group remained faithful and survived the Assyrian invasion in 701 B.C. Later in exile with the Babylonians there was a remnant that would return as recorded in Nehemiah. God promises a remnant of the faithful believers will return to rebuild and from them will come the Messiah.
Isaiah 10: 20-23 In that day the remnant of Israel,
the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob
will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
the destruction decreed upon the whole land.
What does this hope mean for us today? As we look around, like the people of Isaiah’s day did, we see a world filled with corruption and evil. Yes, there is good too but sin is rampant and it seems that it has the upper hand. God was consoling Isarel, and us too, that no matter how it looks or seems, God is in control. He is sovereign and there will always be a remnant of believers that hold Him to be the Lord Almighty, the Holy One.
What is a remnant? As a seamstress, it is a piece of cloth left over. You cut the majority of the bolt of fabric for use and then what is left over is the remnant. It is just as beautiful and the whole piece of cloth, same width, and depth but just smaller in size. God promises there will always be believers no matter how small the group, they will be present. They will hold onto His light, His Word and His truths. They will walk with Him in His power. Paul gave an example in his letter to the Romans. He was speaking about the prophet Elijah and his complaint to God that there were not any believers left in Israel. Romans 11:2-6 “Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” There is always a remnant chosen by God, by His grace, to remain. Jesus spoke encouraging words in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Praise God! 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Take heart and put your trust in the Holy One of Israel who is Sovereign over all. The Lord Almighty will preserve us in Him. We are sealed by His Holy Spirit and belong to Him!