Our modern Christian collection of churches has a mass of people who profess to believe in Christ, yet there is less people faithfully following then those who claim affiliation. This was true also in the time of the people of Judah and Israel coming back from exile in Babylon. There was also a remnant of Jews that entered the Promised Land as well. Of all that claim to know God and pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ there is a trace of true and faithful that have been sealed through saving faith and in contrast those who John Wesley would say were “Almost Christians.”
“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
Ezra 9:8-9 –
When the time finally came for the Lord God to bring back his captives from Babylon- there were a large part of people that chose to stay settled in Babylon.
Yet those who knew God and remembered how God promised to one day resettle them in their native land came home.
This was mentioned in Scripture as a type of metaphore for those chosen in Faith vs those who never truly make it into God’s rest, peace with God through real faith in Christ Jesus.
The author of Hebrews in the New Testament quotes from Psalm 94 about how God was angry at many who came out of Egypt and perished in the wilderness! Yet He said in Numbers 14,——“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall —every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.
Yet OT Israel was an object lesson that a literal historical event also represents a Spiritual remnant of faith.
“Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:6-11)
Those who perished in the desert refused to believe God and put their faith in Him, and he said “I will send my angel to lead these people into the land but I will not go with them lest my anger be aroused and I destroy them on the way.”
Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
Exodus 33:3 –
The Angel of The Lord, The Son of God Jesus Christ leads us into eternity also so God’s wrath toward our sins can be atoned for and he would not wipe any of us out for our sins! We by faith and gratitude follow!