The standard definition of the remnant people identified in Bible prophecy is found in Revelation 12:17: those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (NKJV, see also Rev. 14:12). In the Bible’s story, these features mark out God’s people in the later stages of earth’s history. But, also in the Bible stories, we can find examples of how such a remnant acts and particularly how such people serve others.
The example of Moses in this regard is daunting. Read Exodus 32:1-14. What is the comparison between Moses in this story and the remnant described in Revelation 12:17?
In His anger at the people of Israel, God was threatening to destroy them and transfer the promises given to Abraham—that his descendants would become a great nation—to Moses and his family (see Exod. 32:10).
But Moses didn’t want that. Instead, Moses has the boldness to argue with God, suggesting that for the Lord to act as He is threatening to act will make Him look bad (see Exod. 32:11-13). But then Moses goes further and puts himself on the line to urge his case with God.
Moses had been struggling to lead these people through the wilderness. They had been complaining and bickering almost from the moment he led them to freedom. And yet, Moses says to God, If you are not able to forgive them, “then blot me out of the book you have written” (Exod. 32:32, NIV). Moses offers to give up eternity to save those with whom he has shared his journey.
What a powerful example of self-sacrificing intercession in behalf of those who don’t deserve it! And what a powerful symbol of the entire plan of salvation!
“As Moses interceded for Israel, his timidity was lost in his deep interest and love for those for whom he had, in the hands of God, been the means of doing so much. The Lord listened to his pleadings, and granted his unselfish prayer. God had proved His servant; He had tested his faithfulness and his love for that erring, ungrateful people, and nobly had Moses endured the trial. His interest in Israel sprang from no selfish motive. The prosperity of God’s chosen people was dearer to him than personal honor, dearer than the privilege of becoming the father of a mighty nation. God was pleased with his faithfulness, his simplicity of heart, and his integrity, and He committed to him, as a faithful shepherd, the great charge of leading Israel to the Promised Land”. – Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 319.
|What does this tell us about how, to the degree possible, we should deal with the erring around us?|