And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” (ESV)
The Prophet Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before Paul wrote this letter to the Rome. He looks at the years of Israel's disobedience and gives analysis. What he declares is the mercy of God. God could have justly wiped the memory of Israel off the face of the Earth. Yet, the Lord left a remnant. God is a merciful God.
Sodom and Gomorrah are the perfect example of God's patience with even the most diabolically evil people. If you were to go back to Genesis 18 and 19 you would read of the wickedness of these two cities. God was going to rain down his wrath upon these cities, but was willing to spare them if he could find just ten people who were righteous.
The fact that God was willing to show mercy for the sake of ten people shows us a gracious and compassionate Lord. So often when we look at an account of God's wrath we are prone to see only his judgment, not his mercy. God had a holy standard. Mankind has violated that standard again and again. The fact that any of us are still standing is a testament to his grace.
Many times I heard my father say that he did not want to get what he deserved. He wanted the mercy of God! The reality is God left a remnant of survivors for Israel because of his great love for his people. The same is true for us. We are only his because of his great love. Our God is a wonderful and merciful God.
Soberly consider your own situation. In how many ways have you violated God's righteous standard? God is patient with you and slow to anger. He is abounding in love. Praise him for his mercy. Thank him that you are part of the remnant.