Remnant is a curious word. From the MacBook dictionary:

rem•nant |ˈremnənt|
a small remaining quantity of something.
• a piece of cloth or carpeting left when the greater part has been used or sold.
• a surviving trace: remnant of the past.
• Christian Theology a small minority of people who will remain faithful to God and so be saved (in allusion to biblical prophecies concerning Israel).

adjective [ attrib. ]
remaining: remnant strands of hair.

ORIGIN Middle English: contraction of obsolete remenant, from Old French, from remenoir, remanoir ‘remain.’

Remnant is, by definition, a minority. As I wake this morning, I find myself in a minority in more ways than ever before.

When I was a young boy, my father revealed that he had named each of his three sons with a middle name that could act as a surname. He directed us to “drop” the Squicciarini, should we find it necessary. Back in the middle of the last century (wow I’m old), there was great concern among immigrants regarding prejudice. All immigrant families were minorities, and lived in enclaves to ensure as much community support as possible. So it is with G‑d’s people. The difference is the length of time non-Jews have had to deal with severe prejudice. The Jews have dealt with this issue for a very, very long time.

I must admit that as the years have passed since I wore this country’s military uniform, I feel more and more removed from the patriotic zeal with which I served. The values and moral climate of this nation drifts further from what I read in the Scriptures and teach my children. That’s sad. But there is a bright side to this foreign sense.

Our father, Abraham, felt the same way. He was an immigrant.

Gen. 12:1   Now the L‑RD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you…”

He was a minority. I’m pretty sure he was all alone in “the land.”

Gen. 14:13   Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew.

I’ve never experienced the oppression of a foreign government, even my own, … yet. But Abraham’s descendants did, on a regular basis. Daniel comes to mind.

Dan. 1:3   Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel…

Could Abraham or Daniel, or any of the others whose accounts we have been given, have a patriotic zeal for the country in which they found themselves? Daniel had no children, but I suspect that Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah did. (Think fiery furnace.) Their children were born in a “foreign” land. They were strangers. The remnant of which we read were involved in the governments of several “oppressive” nations. They worked and sometimes fought for its welfare, and the welfare of its people. I suspect they often taught their own children, as a mindset to stay focused on what endures, that they were strangers in those lands. HaShem reminded them of this truth.

Lev. 19:33-34  “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the L‑RD your G‑d.

This generosity and hospitality is a hallmark and expectation of the righteous, the tzadik.

Matt. 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me..

The unmistakable truth is that nations rise and fall according to the obedience of its citizens to G‑d. Even the presence of the righteous will not avert G‑d’s judgment, though the L‑rd knows how to save the righteous. The nation will fall.

Ezek. 14:12-14   Then the word of the L‑RD came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the L‑rd G‑D.

As I consider the results of last night’s Presidential election, here in America, I think of these exhortations. I am feeling “disenfranchised” and as a “stranger” in a foreign land. That’s not a bad thing, if it turns my thoughts to Yeshua, and walking the path of righteousness, and looking forward to the hope of His coming. Not in a cocoon, but as a traveler, not unlike our father Abraham.

Heb 11:9-10 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is G‑d.

The closer I draw to Him, the more a stranger I am in this world, and this country. I have a President, but that should not cause me to forget I also have a King. I am a fellow heir to a great promise, a citizen of the commonwealth of the Israel of G‑d. Like the great men before you and I, we must do the deeds of righteousness, working for the benefit of those in the land in which HaShem has placed us, until that wonderful day when our King comes on the clouds of heaven to establish His kingdom. May it be soon, and in our days.


Yosef ben Yosef