Except the LORD of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like to Gomorrah.
Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." This is as music of hope amid a strain of grief. And it is the first note of an evangelic prophecy, which is to merge into the "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people," of a later chapter. Where there is life there is hope in national calamity as well as in personal sickness. "A cottage in a vineyard" is a cottage that speaks of home (ver. 8), "a lodge in a garden of cucumbers" is a center of care and toil; and a very small remnant may be a branch of healing to save a nation.
I. THE SMALL REMNANT BELONGS TO THE LORD OF HOSTS. Therefore power is on their side. What a contrast! - "host" and "remnant." Even so. God can multiply the loaves and fishes. God can put such power into the remnant that they may be able to say, "Greater is he that is for us than all that can be against us." We must not judge by numbers or statistics, nor by quantity, but by quality. Whose are these? Decide that; and then "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith, "for that faith centers in God.
II. THE SMALL REMNANT IS ANTISEPTIC. It can arrest disease. It can heal. Take a few grains of some chemical substance, and they will color and cleanse an entire stream. "We should have been as Sodom is." Yes; God's judgments on a nation, as in our own at the time when profligate plays had undermined the moral life, have saved the nation. For when men laugh at sin, well-nigh the deepest depth has been reached; but godly souls are then used as leaven to purify the body politic. Judah and Jerusalem were almost gone, but the Lord had mercy on them.
III. THE SMALL REMNANT IS TO SPREAD THE WORD OF THE LORD. The next verse says, "Hear ye the Word of the Lord." It is a Divine revelation that is to save them. And the prophet who speaks is called Isaiah, or Iesahiaha, signifying "the salvation of the Lord; 'so that though the prophet speaks stern words of rebuke, his very name contains the glorious issue of his work. His work was laborious and long - he prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Terribly profane were those days, for in the days of Ahaz "the doors of the house of the Lord were shut up, and idolatrous altars were erected in every corner of Jerusalem." But God sent his Word and healed them; and that is the true regenerator in every age. - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.