Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There Will Always Be a Remnant

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.  Romans 11:5

The meditations for the lesson on Chapter 8 of the Book of Daniel during our last Bible Study meeting left me breathless.  The deep study of fulfilled prophecy as well as the foreshadowing of what is to come were enough to make up for a sleepless night.  However, it wasn’t either the grandiose description of the Ancient of Days or the terrifying depiction of the Beast what kept me awake.  It was, rather, the thought of us being part of the Kingdom timeline right now.  The realization that we are a dot in that timeline was profoundly unsettling.  The words of our teacher rattled my world when she said that we must quit looking around for someone else better to come along, for we are it!  In all my inadequacy, I am part of this “it” that builds up this day in age.  How could it be, if I’m but a vapor?  In His infinite wisdom, however, The Most High created us to be a vapor, yes, but a vapor that is supposed to live a life of purpose with this one breath that is our life, for that one breath is the breath of God and He placed us here for a reason.

What are we to do with our mark on the Divine timeline?  I have no idea!  What I do know is that willingness of heart and Bible study will eventually show us the path.  Our destiny is a journey.  It is a journey filled with unknowns and dwindling ranks.  We feel like we live in the age of indifference.  We see the church diminish as more and more pews are left empty in our weekly services.  It is enough to turn on the television to be disheartened and discouraged.  Where has hope gone?  Are Christians facing extinction?  Is there going to be anybody left to proclaim the truth boldly and unapologetically? 

As long as we are here, the answer is yes.  There will always be a remnant, and today, the remnant is you and me.  As the remnant, we accept our commission and we embark on this journey to seek the truth and to find true hope on the worn out pages of our study Bible.  We hold our sacred map in our hands, and as we leaf through it, we start to navigate the rushing waters guided by His Word.  

As we study the Word, we recognize our own experience in the timeless accounts of the Old Book.  We see ourselves in the Jewish people of the Old Testament, in the slavery of the Hebrews under Egyptian rule, in the graveyard full of dry bones in Ezekiel, or in the take over by the Babylonians.  We plea like Habakkuk, “How long, Lord, must I call for help and You do not listen…” (Hab 1:2).  Though shaken, however, we do not break.  Though tired, we do not stop to rest.  Though oppressed, our hearts do not sink.  Though afraid, we do not despair, for we know who holds the future, and we know who holds us. For we know that evil cannot touch us even if we walk in his valley of sorrow, darkness and pain.  We do not give up.  On the contrary, even though the world rejects us and the fool-hearted says that there is no God, we press on.  We press on because we hear the Lord reply to Moses, “Now you are going to see what I will do.” (Ex 6:1).  We press on because we know that David defeats the giant with just one stone.  We move on because of that empty tomb.  We continue because of the Lamb who was slain for us.  We keep on walking because He has overcome the world and victory is ours in Him who overcomes. 

We know that God will always rise up Daniels and give them the strength to lead lives of integrity in environments of disgrace.  We do not rest in our journey because we know that up ahead we will see God’s answer to Habakkuk’s prayers, and tremble at the command “to look at the nations and observe and be utterly astounded for something is taking place in our days that we will not believe when we hear about it.”  And how the end “delays…but will certainly come and not be late.” (Hab 1,2)  We press on because we trust His promises and we know that His name is faithful and everlasting and never-changing, and because we bear His seal on our foreheads.

We are the remnant.  Like Esther, we were born “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).  We are David facing a Goliath of societal debacle.  We are the dry bones clothed with new flesh to praise the Lord in the midst of godlessness.  We are the split rocks that burst out in praise at the presence of the Divine when no one else recognizes it.  We are the remnant that has been crucified with Christ and no longer lives, but lets Christ live in it.  We are the remnant that does not conform to the patterns of this world, but it’s transformed by the renewing of its mind.  We seek Him first, and we know that we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us.  We bring the light to this fallen world and spread the good news to those who might still want to hear it.  We know that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and that the Lord will not forsake those who trust in Him.

            So –“yes,”-  there will always be a remnant, and today, that remnant is us.  As such, we will make our mark in the timeline of the Kingdom of the Most High by putting on the full armor of God, and doing what we are supposed to do to bring glory to our loving, living and mighty Lord.

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