Will YOU be among the ‘REMNANT’ who escapes God’s JUDGMENT? "Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them." (Ezek. 6:8-10)
Over a period of 20 years, the prophet Ezekiel had spelled out the sins of the people and had warned them of the certainty of God’s wrath. Nevertheless, the people remained willfully blind to their condition. Israel was supposed to worship only the God of heaven in His temple in Jerusalem, but the people had set up shrines to false gods throughout the land, in mountains, ravines, and valleys. So God determined that the people who built these false places of worship would be destroyed by God’s sword. However, in the midst of judgment, God in His rich mercy promised to spare some of the Jews called the “remnant”.
The above passage is Ezekiel’s first explicit mention of the “remnant” that would be spared, which is mentioned in many times later (see 9:8; 11:12, 13; 12:16; 14:22, 23; 20:39–44). The “remnant” is a group or individual who has experienced some calamity, ordinarily in judgment for sin, and has survived. This group of survivors becomes the nucleus for the continuation of the group: they embody the future hopes of the people, and they inherit the promises of God afresh. The Exile was to be a period of purging and refining so that a pure people would emerge from it.
Thus, Ezekiel foresaw the survival of a “remnant” referring to a believing Israel in an eschatological setting (see Jeremiah 23:3; Isaiah 10:20–22; 11:11, 16; Romans 11:5). Going through the exile, enduring hunger, fire, sickness, and the sword, the “remnant” would experience the purifying and strengthening of their faith. These people who are spared would remember God in their captivity and loathe themselves for their abominations (vv. 8–10).
God always has preserved a remnant for Himself, and He always will. God had promised that, despite any future destruction of the nation that might occur because of sin, He would always preserve a portion from annihilation (see Deut. 28:61–64). The chief purpose of the punishment was to produce a repentant and spiritually restored remnant that would stay true to God. By His abundant grace, God would spare a remnant that would remember Him and repent of their sins!
We will either know the Lord in His grace and mercy today or, in His wrath and fury one day in the future. The choice is ours! Let us decide today that the sin that breaks the heart of God will break our hearts as well. Let us determine by holy living and obeying God to be among the remnant who escapes God’s judgment that is going to affect all the people of this earth one day!