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August 20 Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 5-8
“Yet will I leave a remnant…They shall lothe themselves…And they shall know that I am the Lord.”
What a wonderful display we have before us of the great mercy, love, and grace of our great God! In wrath, he remembers mercy, and promises to remember, preserve, and save his elect remnant.
God the Spirit tells us that among the fallen, depraved, lost, condemned ruins of humanity “there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). And he assures us that the “remnant shall be saved” (Romans 9:27). In Isaiah 10 the Holy Ghost declares, “The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God” (Isaiah 10:21).
With men, a remnant is something leftover, waste material, material for which there is no plan, purpose, or intended use. With God it is exactly opposite. God’s remnant is the kernel; everything else is husk. God’s remnant is that for which all things were planned and purposed. Without that elect remnant, everything else would be useless.
God inspired his prophets and apostles of old to speak of his people as a “remnant.” God’s people are a remnant, a “little flock” of God’s choosing (Romans 9:27; Isaiah 10:21-22; Luke 12:32). God has not chosen to save all men; but there is a remnant, chosen from among the ruins of Adam's fallen race, who must be saved (Ephesians 1:3-6; John 10:16).
Everything God does he does for his remnant. All men benefit from God's goodness to his remnant. Rain, sunshine, peace, and pestilence, draught, darkness, and war come upon all men alike. But they come for and belong to the remnant (1 Corinthians 3:21).
God is longsuffering with all men for the sake of the remnant (2 Peter 3:9). Were it not for God's elect remnant, he would have destroyed the world in his wrath long ago, like Sodom and Gomorrah. God's elect are truly the salt, the preservers of the earth. As God spared Adam for Abel's sake and Sodom for Lot's sake, God spares the world today for his elect's sake, that they all might be saved.
God will save his elect remnant (Romans 9:27, 11:26). Not one of that great remnant for whom God made, rules, and disposes of this world shall be lost. God the Father loved them. God the Son redeemed them. God the Spirit calls them. And God, by his great grace, will preserve them unto life everlasting.
That remnant, when they are returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, shall come to him in true repentance, just as Ezekiel was inspired of God the Holy Ghost to describe it in Ezekiel 7:16-18. There the prophet shows us the sweet properties of God’s grace in the hearts of that remnant saved by the Lord. They remember the Lord. They loathe themselves. They mourn for their iniquity. The hands they once thought strong are feeble. The knees they once thought strong are feeble. They have no ability in themselves to do anything good; and they know it, because now they have been taught of God and know the Lord. Wherever God performs his wonders of grace in the heart, in Ezekiel’s day and in ours, he causes saved sinners to loathe and abhor themselves and exalt and glorify the God of all grace. He makes the saved soul weak, that he might make us strong in our Savior, finding all-sufficient grace in him.