Isaiah 10:1-23; 2 Corinthians 12:11-15; Psalms 56:10-13; Proverbs 15:31-32
OT: “On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on the one who struck them, but they will faithfully depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. Israel, even if your people were as numerous as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed; justice overflows. For throughout the land the Lord God of Armies is carrying out a destruction that was decreed.” (Isaiah 10:20-23 CSB)
Isaiah prophesied that God would use the nation of Assyria as a tool to bring about the rebuke and correction that Israel needed – but Assyria wouldn’t get off scot-free. A time would come when Assyria would be judged for their evil acts and a remnant of Israel would be allowed to return to the land. God said that though Israel was as vast in number as the sands of the sea, once God’s discipline was fully meted out, only a small fraction of faithful people would remain. Unfortunately, throughout all of scripture, that is often the case.
Many people may start out following God, but after time, only a few remain faithful. During the time of Moses, 12 spies were sent to spy out the land, but only 2 were full of faith. Of the million plus people that were saved from bondage in Egypt, only those two men were able to enter the promised land. Gideon’s army started out with over 22,000 troops, but only 300 men were of the right heart to go into battle. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23 that many will say, “Lord, Lord,” but only those who were faithful to obey will enter the kingdom of heaven. Though many people may hear the word of God and initially respond to it, only a few become fully fruitful (Matthew 13:18-23). Those statistics can seem discouraging, but God isn’t as concerned with quantity as He is with faithfulness. God is able to do a lot through a little, provided that the little is full of faith and faithfully obedient to Him. God’s new world that gets established at the end of this age won’t be populated with everyone. It will be populated with the redeemed and faithful few out of every people group on the earth. Many people start out well, but sadly most go the way of the crowd – the way of popular opinion – instead of remaining faithful to the word, will and ways of the Lord. God is not willing to compromise on righteousness to keep the numbers high. He is looking for the few faithful that will trust Him fully and obey Him completely by grace through faith. The important question is who will you be? Who will I be? Will we be of many who fall out of faithfulness, or will we be of the faithful few that remains faithful to God until the end?
Proverbs: “One who listens to life-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise. Anyone who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever listens to correction acquires good sense.” (Proverbs 15:31-32 CSB)
Righteous discipline and life-giving rebukes are not bad. We are prone to walking away from righteousness… following the majority opinion even when it is wrong… falling for temptations. The way that we get back on track is through righteous discipline and life-giving rebukes. One of the reason why those who are found among the righteous are merely a remnant is because so few people receive correction when it is needed. God doesn’t correct because He hates us. He brings correction because He loves us. Life-giving rebukes will make us wise if we listen to them. Listening to godly correction will give us good sense and set us on the path to righteousness, that we may be counted among the redeemed and faithful.
Prayer: Lord, it is much easier to compromise and go the way of popular opinion than it is to remain steadfastly faithful to Your word, will and ways. Though it is hard, Your word promises that there is grace by faith to keep us rooted in You and walking in obedience. I want to be ever faithful to You. Work in me to will and do Your good pleasure. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.