The Expository Files


The Unity of the Remnant

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another.” Mal. 3:16

God’s people, in their post-exile existence, suffered the consequences of their apostasy. And as the text in Malachi is read and studied, it may seem like everybody had departed from God. But this is a “remnant passage” in Mal. 3:16.

That means, even in the dark days of their apostasy, there were faithful servants of God, though few.

Homer Hailey observed, “There is never a time when Jehovah does not have His ‘seven thousand in Israel’ whose knees ‘have not bowed unto Baal,’ (1 Kings 19:18).”

Even then, in post-exile conditions, “in contrast to the murmurers who questioned the moral government of Jehovah, there were some who feared Him. As they listened to the words of unbelievers and to Jehovah’s rebuke of them, those who were concerned conversed among themselves. What they said is not recorded, but their words were pleasing to Jehovah, who heard and hearkened to them.” (A Commentary On The Minor Prophets, Homer Hailey, p. #423)

First, this is refreshing. That God’s faithful people stayed in touch with each other, maintained their ties and no doubt encouraged one another. The apostasy of their brethren didn’t destroy their teamwork

Second, this is an example for God’s people of all time. The devil, in trying times, will aggressively try to pull us apart or drive some wedge between us. Those efforts must be resisted by faith in Christ and by the activity of our love for each other. Those who fear the Lord need good healthy relationships with one another

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” (Eph. 4:3).

By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 21.1;  January 2014