This is a continuation of a series started last week. I recommend going back and reading parts 1 and 2 before reading this installment: “The Remnant of Israel, Part 1,” and “The Remnant of Israel, Part 2.”
The Story of the Remnant
The story of the remnant begins in Genesis. God was creating a people through Abraham and his descendants.
A key part of the story happened when Israel went into Egypt. Israel left the promised land to go into the land where they would be preserved and grow into a nation. Seventy people would enter and many thousands would come out more than four hundred years later.
Consider the steps that led to this stage of Israel’s development. You will see that God works through some strange and even painful events in human history:
–A band of brothers got tired of their precocious daddy’s favorite.
–These wicked brothers threw him in a cistern and then sold him into slavery.
–The brothers never expected to see him again.
–Unbeknownst to them, God was doing some strange things to preserve and exalt this unwanted brother of Israel.
–As a slave, he rose to prominence until he wound up in prison, again an outcast.
–In prison, he rose again to prominence.
–And eventually this brother, called Joseph, saved Egypt and the surrounding nations from a famine.
–In the process of saving the peoples of the Middle East by his prophetic wisdom from the God of Israel, Joseph also saved his brothers and their families.
And God spoke powerfully through Joseph to explain why:
Gen. 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
God used slavery, prison, unjust accusations, bitterness, rivalry, and famine as part of his plan to bring grace and blessing to the world.
God did it all on purpose (and without taking away free will, I might add). God works all things, even prison and slavery, to the counsel of his will.
And God had a purpose which he clearly stated through Joseph:
To cause Israel to survive and become more numerous.
To make Israel a remnant on the earth, a people among the peoples, the leaven of the world.
Where this is leading: the remnant story starts in Genesis, but it keeps going. We’ll see Israel in the past as the remnant and Israel in the future as the remnant. The place I am going and will sum this up in two more posts or so, is with Israel PRESENT. In what way is Israel now the remnant and how does Messianic Judaism fit into that? What difference does remnant theology make in the here and now?