- There is a recounting of Israel’s sin. Their sin is dark and prolonged. It is seen in their unbelief, immorality, rebellion, and their spiritual adultery in idolatry. Their sin is cataloged and recounted repeatedly (e.g., Number, Judges, Psalm 106; Ezek. 20:5-44; 36:16-38; Hosea; Heb. 3:8-19). They rejected and murdered their prophets. They despised and rejected and murdered the promised Messiah (Isaiah 53; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). They exhibited a stubborn grip to their works as righteousness before God, and a proud refusal to submit to God’s righteousness in Christ as their only hope of salvation. They were completely ignorant of God’s sovereignty, His saving power and His undeserved mercy and grace through all of their many deliverances. “What then, are we better than they? No, in no wise“ (Rom. 3:9). Though they are repeatedly delivered, yet they continually fall away (Isaiah 1:4-6).
- Israel as a nation is preserved, because out of them God has chosen to save a very small remnant. He made a covenant of works with the entire nation, but a covenant of grace with His elect out of that nation (Jer. 31:31-37; Rom. 11:27; Heb. 8:10-12; 10:15-17; 13:20-21). Unless the LORD had chosen and preserved a very small remnant in that nation, the entire nation would have been as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:9; 10:22; Rom. 9:27,29). Unless God chose a very small remnant, His elect people out of the entire nation of Israel, no one in that nation would have been saved. Even so, unless God chose His people out of this world (Eph. 1:4; 1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:13), the world would have been destroyed at the fall, long before the flood. There would be no purpose for this world’s long existence unless God had a purpose to save His people out of it (Isaiah 44:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9; Rom. 8:35-39).
- Israel’s redemption. Unless the LORD redeemed the remnant, none would be saved. God redeemed Israel from Egypt by the blood of the Passover lamb. Their deliverance from Egypt required it. God redeemed His elect by the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:12). Their deliverance from sin, the law and satan required it. Redemption is by the blood of Christ, the price required to pay their debt, to deliver them from bondage and from all their enemies. This is seen in Israel’s redemption from Egypt. Redemption is repeatedly promised throughout the OT: "He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (Psalm 130:8). Christ redeemed His remnant people (Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12). He purchased the Church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). He laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:11,15). He loved the Church and gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25). The Church is the elect remnant that Christ redeemed out of this world's history.
- Israel’s gathering. Unless God gathered His scattered remnant from far off places (e.g., the prodigal son, Luke 15) where their sin took them and their enemies held them captive, they would be forever lost. Unless Christ gathers His sheep by the preaching of the gospel, none of them will be brought (John 6:44-45; 63-69).
- Unending praise called forth from the redeemed to the LORD, their Redeemer. There is a constant call to the redeemed to remember what God has done for them in His election of them, His redemption of them in Christ, in His gathering them from the world, and in His preserving and bringing them to Himself in eternal glory. “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south” (Psalm 107:2-3).
- A view given by God the Holy Spirit to needy sinners to look to Christ, their salvation, and a cry recorded for them to bring to the throne of grace at all times. In light of God’s grace that saves such sinful people, throughout the Psalms and prophets, God graciously gives sinners a view of their salvation in His Son, and gives them words to bring to Him for salvation from His throne of grace. Considering all that they are, the redeemed will know that God saved them in spite of their rebellion (Psalm 106:8; Lam. 3:32; Hosea 1:10; Eph. 2:8). "Nevertheless", "Yet", "But" are the blessed conjunctions of grace (Rom. 5:20; 6:17)! What is my warrant to look and call on Christ as a sinner?! It is not something in me! Like Israel, I have repeatedly proven it is not in me (Rom 8:6-7; Jer. 13:23)! But hear the gracious command to foul, helpless sinners: “I said, Behold Me! Behold Me! to a nation that was not called by my name” (Isaiah 65:1). “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (2 Chr. 20:17). “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2). “O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake” (Psalm 79:8-9). “Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance” (Psalm 106:4-5). “Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away” (Psalm 65:3). “Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation” (Psalm 35:3).
Listen to these plain and ever comforting words of scripture that call for our unending praise and adoring worship of our great Redeemer (Rev. 5:9):
Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha (Rom. 9:29). “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved” (Rom. 9:27). “And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Psalms 130:8). “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase” (Jeremiah 23:3). “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all…” (John 6:29) “...I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:15,16). “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered them out of the lands; from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south” (Psalm 107:2-3). “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he” (Jer. 31:10-11). “If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29). "They sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9)!