This is a leftover amount from a larger piece, be it fabric, food or a group of people.

Although often viewed by humanity as only worthless scraps, throughout the Bible various remnants have held significance and pivotal roles. While it is devastating for the majority discarded or lost, God’s purposes are often outworked through the small and weak, (for then His power is more clearly revealed) in contrast to the world’s value system and methods (Isa 55:8,9). While God in His sovereignty and grace chooses, we can position ourselves among those He uses by remaining faithful and obedient, not bowing to peer pressure and going man’s way. After the flood it was through Noah “a righteous man…who walked with God” that a fresh start was made with the whole earth being repopulated (with both humans and animals), through those kept safe by the ark (Gen 6:8,9, 9:1).

The OT foretold that only a small minority of the Jewish people would respond appropriately to God, while the rest of the people would not listen to His message and so would be judged and deported (Isa 6:11-13). Isaiah prophesied that the nation, once as numerous as grains of sand, would be decimated because of their sin and only a few would return to the land (Isa 10:22,23). Through the remnant who heeded the warning, God outworked His purposes because they trusted and followed Him.

In NT times, Paul spoke of Jewish Christians as ‘a remnant chosen by grace’ (Rom 11:1-5). It is also recorded that, in the last days, God will re-gather back to Israel His remnant from the various countries where they had been scattered.  They will be a great nation and a spiritual witness to the world (Mic 2:12; Zech 8:11-13).

All true believers are part of the remnant of humanity that will saved, while the majority of people decide to take the easy way that ends in destruction (Mt 7:13,14). Although there will be multitudes in heaven, this is “few” compared to the “many” who have ever lived on earth and not received Christ as Saviour (Rev 7:9). We should be extremely grateful we are part of His Kingdom, so live in a way that God will be honoured because He chose you, and do all you can to bring others into His family.

See also: chosen, minority.

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