Scripture: Isaiah 8:17-18 (ESV)
"I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in Him. Behold, I and my children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion."
Isaiah and his sons must have felt very alone in their faith, for Israel had turned from the Lord and God Himself hid His face from those people. But what does Isaiah do? He holds on to his faith, "I will wait, I will hope." One of Isaiah's sons he named Shear-jashub, which means, "A remnant shall return." Many names given in the Old Testament were tied to a characteristic or purpose that person would display in his or her lifetime. Jacob means, "the deceiver", thus he later deceived his father, brother, and others in his life. Adam means, "Man", because he was the first of mankind.
God planned to give Israel what they desired, independence from God, and in result they would be conquered and brought low, scattered, and only a remnant would remain. Isaiah used the word picture of a great oak tree, cut down and only a stump remaining. So will it be for the great nation of Israel, for they exchanged the true God for false ones, knowing full well the consequences.
My grandfather, very much must have felt like Isaiah, within his family. The Wilson family just three generations ago had a reputation, but not a good one. They were bootleggers in the time of The Prohibition, and would use alcohol to enter into drunken rages, beating each other. During that time my grandfather when he was a boy found Jesus and dedicated his life to preach The Word. As a result, no alcohol was allowed in my grandfather's home, and my father never had to deal with the evils drunkenness brings to a family growing up. My dad became a preacher, like his dad, and I followed both their footsteps and am myself in the ministry all because "a remnant returned to the Lord."
Maybe you are the only Christian in your home. Or maybe you feel that you are the only one around who takes their faith seriously. Do not give up hoping and waiting in the Lord. Just like Isaiah and my grandfather, you can be the remnant generation that turns the tide and whole course of the generations to come after you. I'm living proof of my grandfather's legacy. God can take a dead stump and bring new life into it again, and He can in your life as well.
"Lord Jesus, thank You for the faith of my grandfather who changed the reputation of the Wilson family. I pray that You will use his story to encourage others to never give up. Thank You for new life out of a dead stump; let me be a remnant in this generation that returns to You."