And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob…
Did you ever ponder the disintegrations that are going on in human society? The number of those who fall out of the ranks of society is infinitely greater than the number of those who ever fell out of any army that was gathered on the field of battle. We usually take statistics of the prosperous men in society. But who stands to take an accurate account of all the weak? Who cares for the remnants of society? God does. Let us look at some of these remnants.
1. Those who are broken in health, and are utterly turned away, by that reason, from all that they sought. They count as ciphers. The only thing they seem to be good for is to serve as memorials of a mother's patience, of a sister's goodness, or of a wife's fidelity. How many men are like a man-of-war, that is staunchly built of the best material, but that on its first voyage is so handled by the winds and waves that it becomes unmanageable, and makes haste to come to port again, and anchors at the navy yard, and is an old receiving hulk for the rest of its days!
2. Then, how many remnants there are in society on account of the misapplication of their powers and their utter failure therefrom. How many second and third-rate men there are who undertake to perform functions which require the exercise of the faculties in their best estate.
3. Then there are remnants from the overtaxing of men who are adapted to their work, but have not the endurance which their circumstances require. There are some men who, when they break down, are like those who ride in low waggons, and who if the waggon breaks do not fall far, but can get up and mend it, and go on; but there are other men who when they break down are like those who cross a dark chasm on a high bridge, and who, if the bridge break, fall a great distance into the stream below, and have no power to get backs, and repair the damage and proceed on their journey.
4. A great many more persons break down from a secret mismanagement of themselves. I see men who use more wind to waft a cookie boat across a pond than would be required to carry a man-of-war across the sea.
5. Besides these, who are perpetually breaking down and falling in the rear, are those who violate the laws of society; who are detected, and convicted, and branded with shame. I think the most piteous thing in the world is to see a man, no worse than we are, who, under the influence of company, or through temptation, has committed s great wrong, and has been branded by society. His life is not worth anything after that. For the laws of society are like the laws of a fort, which when a man is inside defend him against all attack, but which when he is outside open all the artillery of the fort upon him if he attempts to get back. Many men have a conscience under a prison jacket. God judges with the justice of love, and not with the injustice of hatred. To all those who are cast down and suffering, I say, There is a God that is sorry for you. Beware, then, of desperation. If you have failed for this life, do not fail for the other too. There is very much that my yet be done, even in the afternoon and twilight of men's lives, if they are hopeful and active.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
WEB: It will come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those who have escaped from the house of Jacob will no more again lean on him who struck them, but shall lean on Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.