A theme of the Isaiah passage that I do not like is the description of the remnant. The scrap of faithful that remain as the world crashes around them. In his condemnation against Cush/Ethiopia, Isaiah writes, “For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches.” 18:5. If you have ever seen a plant, esp. a grapevine, after pruning, it really looks dead. The uninitiated will think, “there is nothing left here.”
Reminiscent of Moses who saw but did not enter the promised land, Isaiah includes: “The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: ‘Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for,’ says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.”
Taking the Gospel from my doorstep to the ends of the Earth is an exciting option. Keeping the faith while those around me lose theirs (to paraphrase Kiping) is not so sexy.
Would you be willing to hold a truth with a small remnant of a faith, if you knew it was the truth, but you also knew that its broad recognition would not happen in your lifetime?