v 20 In that day the remnant left in Israel, the survivors in the house of Jacob, will no longer depend on allies who seek to destroy them. But they will faithfully trust the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah foresees a time when ‘though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant of them will return.’ He sees the nation in exile, and only this small remnant returning to the land they had been promised. But it will be a faithful remnant, trusting God.
One of the dangers of belonging to a small and potentially vulnerable or threatened minority is that of forming alliances that will bolster the group’s security. Israel did that at various times in its history. Earlier in the book of Isaiah he had written about the destructive nature of wrong alliances. ‘For the Lord has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.’ (Isaiah 2:6) Jeremiah had commented on the same thing ‘What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River? ‘ (Jeremiah 2:18)
The nation had claimed to be following God, but was in reality trusting alliances with other nations to protect them. The faithful remnant trust God alone – not God PLUS others.
This is always a danger for minority groups – including Christians. It is easy to say we will trust God, and then hope to build alliances (with political parties or business groups for example) that might strengthen our place or influence in society