Read Isaiah 56
Salvation for Others
56 This is what the Lord says:
and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2 Blessed is the one who does this—
the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”
3 Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say,
“The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”
And let no eunuch complain,
“I am only a dry tree.”
4 For this is what the Lord says:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant—
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.
6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant—
7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.”
8 The Sovereign Lord declares—
he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather still others to them
besides those already gathered.”
God’s Accusation Against the Wicked
9 Come, all you beasts of the field,
come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!
10 Israel’s watchmen are blind,
they all lack knowledge;
they are all mute dogs,
they cannot bark;
they lie around and dream,
they love to sleep.
11 They are dogs with mighty appetites;
they never have enough.
They are shepherds who lack understanding;
they all turn to their own way,
they seek their own gain.
12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine!
Let us drink our fill of beer!
And tomorrow will be like today,
or even far better.”
This chapter brings into focus that salvation belongs to all people. In the goodness of God’s grace, He extends the invitation to humanity. And for those who accept the invitation and enter His household, we walk in with joy and praise. Our new identity has been born. No longer are we foreigners; we are now His children.
In this passage, the Lord reveals the true meaning of being redefined as God’s people. And to be given this new identity, we must respond in two ways. The first is to walk in obedience to God’s word. As verse two states, “Blessed is the one who does this–the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.” Blessings are followed by us being obedient and devoting ourselves to the Lord daily. For us to walk in obedience, we must learn how to walk in humility. It begins with denying our ways and surrendering to the one who has made the Way.
You see, the beautiful thing about the Gospel is that it does not rely on our strength or efforts. In Christianity, the very moment that we believe in Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, we are imputed with Christ’s perfect performance. How amazing is that? The verdict has been given to us before the performance.
This ties into the second way we are to respond as people of God: we are not to disqualify ourselves. There are no benefits to allowing others to judge you or for you to judge yourself. Scripture tells us that God will not reject us. As Romans 8:1-2 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” The Maker of Heaven and Earth welcomes all who humble themselves and place their hope and trust in the Resurrected King, Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we close, let us take a moment to reflect and remember all that God has done for us. We serve a Sovereign Lord whose faithfulness and love endure forever. Let us not take that for granted but respond with prayer and thanksgiving.
- Is there a specific area of your life that you tend to disqualify yourself from receiving the Lord’s blessing?
- What is one thing you can stop or start to grow your intimacy with God?
- What is your favorite attribute of God?
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