"I will leave in the midst of you a people poor and lowly"

These recent thoughts about the "invisible" or remnant church have a personal importance for me. I found notes about the remnant of Israel in my journal from eight years ago, written when I was feeling pretty isolated and frustrated with the church. Since then I've found much better church communities and met many who felt like true brothers and sisters. But there have also always been disappointments and times of disillusionment that drive me back to thoughts of the remnant, those who remain faithful when the crowd takes the easier, more popular path.

Also, other recent thoughts about the anawim seem to fit well with the description of the remnant church. The poor, afflicted ones who remain faithful to God. Who depend on God for everything, because they have nothing and no one else to depend on. In my research on the anawim, I found this passage from the prophet Zephaniah that also speaks of them as the remnant (the Hebrew words translated "humble" and "lowly" both also have the meaning "poor," the first coming from the same root word as anawim):

"On that day
you shall not be put to shame
because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.
For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD,
those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no wrong and utter no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue.
For they shall pasture and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid."

A little more research made it surprisingly clear that I wasn't coming up with anything new connecting the anawim with the remnant people of God. It sounds like an accepted correlation in Old Testament studies. I just had never heard of it before.

So my desire to both be with and to be one of the anawim is also the desire to be part of the remnant church, the true people of God.