Characteristics of the RemnantIn the previous post I shared the beginning of my journey through the book of Isaiah this year and of the definition of the word "remnant" as used in Isaiah. In this post I am prayerfully offering the second category of verses that I found. These verses describe the characteristics of the remnant - or people who have chosen to follow God. As I've soaked in these scriptures I've been amazed anew at the cohesiveness of the Bible - a fractal design in which the minute mirrors the overarching panorama of hope.
A Shaking and a Respect
"Yet the gleaning grapes will be left in it, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its most fruitful branches, says the Lord God of Israel. In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel... he will not respect what his fingers have made." Isaiah 17:6-8
The Gift of Light
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." Isaiah 9:2
The Calling ~ The Commission
"Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying: "Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?"
Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
And He said, "Go, and tell this people."
Recognition of our Creator
"You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth." Isaiah 37:16
"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way, walk in it. Whenever you turn to the right hand or when ever you turn to the left." Isaiah 30:21
A Compass of Integrity
"He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
He will dwell on high, His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, and his water will be sure. Your eyes will see the king in His beauty; they will see the land that is very far off." Isaiah 33:15-17
A Generous Heart
"But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand." Isaiah 32:8
An Encouraging Spirit
"The Lord has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4
Treasuring the Sabbath
"Keep justice and do righteousness for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this. . . who keeps from defiling the Sabbath and keeps his hand from doing any evil." Isaiah 56:1, 2
Personal Sacrificial Service
"Is this not the fast that I have chosen?
- To loose the bonds of wickedness
- Undo the heavy burdens
- Let the oppressed go free
- Break every yoke
- Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
- Bring to your house the poor who are cast out
- When you see the naked that you cover him and not hide yourself from your own flesh!
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily. . .
If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones. You shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58: 6-11
Experience the Redemption of Circumstances
"Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back." Isaiah 38:17
God Works Through Humanity
"But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter, and we are the work of Your hand." Isaiah 64:8
"Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us." Isaiah 26:12
Each Person Becomes A Refuge
"A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Isaiah 32:2
"The Spirit of God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent me to:
- Heal the brokenhearted,
- Proclaim liberty to the captives,
- Opening of the prison to those who are bound.
- Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;
- Comfort all those who mourn.
- Console those who mourn in Zion,
- Give them beauty for ashes
- Joy for mourning
- Praise for the spirit of heaviness.
- That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified." Isaiah 61:1-3
The Song of the Remnant
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10
"The Lord was ready to save me; Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the house of the Lord." Isaiah 38:20
"Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. And they shall call them the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord, and you shall be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken." Isaiah 62:12
Will I let the shaking in my life turn me to embrace the light and the calling He has?
Do my actions acknowledge my Creator?
Are my ears listening for His direction?
Will I allow God to nurture integrity, generosity and encouraging words in my heart?
Do I really treasure His gift of the Sabbath each week?
Am I consistently extending my soul in practical ways to the individuals around me?
Do I trust His redemption of circumstances?
Is God receiving all the credit?
Because of His presence is my life becoming a refuge from the tempest of the world?
Am I offering to others healing, freedom, confidence in Gods justice, comfort, beauty, joy, and gratitude?
Will I freely sing His joy?
No - frequently I do not. I let overwhelming shyness pinch me silent and my toes curl up into hesitant pretzels. And God patiently waits and cares. . .
But these verses are my prayer. My journey into trust. My song.
And with His grace the notes will tune truer in His time.