5.34 1 Kings -- Keepers of the Faith

God's problem in these two books was to find custodians of the sacred covenant, the Abrahamic promise.  This, the very heritage and identity of Israel, was despised by leaders and people alike.  There were a few exceptions to this apostasy:  Hezekiah, Josiah, the prophets.  It was at this time that the idea of a righteous remnant appeared.  It is not merely the idea that Israel was a righteous remnant among the nations of the earth.  Even within Israel itself, most of the people were dross, and only a few were holy:  just 7000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18).  Yet the point is that these few were the only significant people in the eyes of God.  These were the people who shaped the future in a positive way, they were those through whom God could act redemptively.  Through the Assyrians and Babylonians He could punish, He could destroy, He could purge; but He could not create a people or a nation unto Himself through foreigners.  Only the righteous remnant of Israel was in touch with the sacred words and acts of God in the past, and with His works of deliverance in the future.  The tides of history were against the remnant in their own day --  they did not have the power to resist either Ahab or Manasseh.  But the fact that they refused to bow the knee to Baal was a decision whose significance outlasted and exceeded the evil deeds of their rulers and fellow citizens -- because they agreed and cooperated with the purpose of God's Spirit on the earth.

        

This made them the inheritors and keepers of the Blessing of Israel, for they upheld the covenant with God, and passed it on to their descendants.  Likewise, they are examples and models for the faith community of modern times, which finds itself similarly outnumbered and overpowered by the secularizers.