Now all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do.” Jeremiah 42:1-3
In the verses of scripture above, the remnant is seeking direction from God. Because the nation had gone astray and followed after idols, so God delivered them into the hands of their enemies. The remnant wanted to know how to walk and what they should do. There are 69 bible verses about God’s remnant. Throughout scripture we see salvation and deliverance coming through a small group of steadfast believers who don’t waiver as the culture turns away from godliness. The first example of a remnant is found in Genesis with Noah and the eight souls who replenished the earth after the fall — the hearts and imaginations of people became perpetually wicked, and so God purged creation using a remnant to sustain life on the earth.
We also see a remnant in the days of Joseph and Elijah. God used Joseph to preserve many people for a great deliverance (Genesis 45:7). In 1 Kings 19:18 God tells Elijah that He has 7,000 who have not bowed the knee, nor kissed the feet of Baal. During the reign of King Hezekiah, God used a remnant to save Judah from enemies who clearly outnumbered them and caused fear among the people. Here is the word of the Lord from the prophet Isaiah to King Hezekiah — This shall be a sign to you: "You shall eat this year such as grows of itself, And in the second year what springs from the same; Also in the third year sow and reap, Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah Shall again take root downward, And bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, And those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 19:29-31
What is the purpose of a remnant in the Kingdom of God? Throughout scripture a remnant follows judgment of a disobedient and rebellious people. God leaves a remnant so that He can restore righteousness in the earth among His people. This pattern persists in the modern day church as it was in Egypt and Babylon. Throughout the history of Israel and Judah, God left a remnant who He could use to restore, redeem and reconcile His people unto Himself.
Let’s look at the church in America today as a microcosm of the greater church worldwide. There are approximately 340 million citizens in America, of which 70% confess to be Christian, according to The Barna Group. That means, about 238 million Americans are believers. Does our culture reflect dominant Christian values? Values like, love, justice, forgiveness and compassion? What about daily prayer and reading the word of God? In the city of Philadelphia, roughly 9% say the Bible has relevance in their life decisions, according to a survey conducted by the American Bible Society. Although the Bible is no longer the authority for so many, and church attendance has steadily declined over the past decade. There is a remnant crying out to God for the restoration of the nation. God has people everywhere praying for a revival that will result in an awakening for the nation, and the nations of the world. There remains those who have not bowed their knees to popular culture.
This is why the princes and common people came to the prophet Jeremiah and said “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do.” If the remnant loses their way, then the hope of salvation and deliverance
is greatly diminished. Who then would a Holy God turn to in order to restore righteousness in the earth? Hear the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet Ezra (9:8) And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.
We should all be grateful to God for the remnant that God uses to enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival. It is scary to see how popular culture can influence the people of God. Yet there is always a remnant who remains steadfast and refuses to waiver from the precepts of the Most High God. Abraham challenged the power of the remnant in the eyes of God when the secret was revealed to him about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The exchange between Abraham and God is found in Genesis 18:23-32; And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
Although the Lord does not need many righteous to spare a nation. He does look for a remnant. Will you be among the few that God looks down and sees to be steadfast and unwavering? For your sake, He will save your household, neighborhood and even the nation. I pray that you will join the remnant today!