v 3 I will gather together the remnant of my flock from the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their own sheepfold, and they will be fruitful and increase in number.
Jeremiah and Ezra both see this remnant as those who go into exile and are thus preserved. They are not the ones left behind in Israel when others are deported. God promises to re-gather them and give them good leadership for the future. ‘Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!’ Ezra sees this return from exile as an act of God’s grace rather than of personal merit on the part of the people. ‘But now we have been given a brief moment of grace, for the Lord our God has allowed a few of us to survive as a remnant. ‘ (Ezra 9:8)
In the final analysis God preserves a remnant of faithful people not because they are especially good or holy, but because he is gracious and faithful to them.
Heavenly Father, by your infinite grace you have redeemed a people for your own glory. Surround and protect them by your Holy Spirit so that they will remain faithful to you. AMEN.