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?
At the end of Isaiah 56, God says that His house is a house of prayer. To learn more about the meaning of this, click here to read this helpful article from GotQuestions.org.
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5 thoughts on “Isaiah 56”
Isaiah issues a rally cry to stir the hearts of the people proclaiming blessings for the nations. Not only for the Israelites but Gentiles, too. The misfits, outcasts, the unworthy are invited into an everlasting covenant relationship, they are rescued and redeemed. After being favored and lavished with such love, what should be our response? This Gentile heart recalls Micah 6:8,”He has shown you, oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
As a Mom my heart is grieved often. I stand on the promise of Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. We tried, often did it not exactly right but they were taught the Word and now it is their choice. All that to say that BUT GOD continues to give us another chance. We grieve His heart. He put us this Book of Life to follow and learn from. It is amazing the amount of information that I am learning more daily. Something I did not teach my children is having quite time with God EVERY SINGLE DAY. Should-a would-a ,could-as cannot do over. BUT GOD has given me the tools to do this for myself and grow in love, joy, prayfulness, happiness, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, thankfulness, peacefulness, for HIM!!! I love learning about the Sabbath and the Jewish traditions. We are the HOUSE OF PRAY!! HE LIVES IN US!!!!
God thank You for this new day to rejoice and be glad in You!!!! Thank You for forgiveness as far as the east is from the west. Thank You for Your love goggles to see others as You see them!!!! I need mine fine tuned today. God help me to Love like You each breath I take. You give me those breaths to give me opportunities to worship YOU!!!! by doing right things, saying right things and acting in a Godly manner. Thank You for ears to hear Your voice and eyes to see those that I should love today in Jesus name amen
In my reading I see the righteous vs the wicked. You can either say you belong to v1-8 or v9-12. There is no middle. You either receive the blessing and rewards from your obedience as Isaiah and the commentator mentioned, or you continue to walk in blindness and no understanding—being drunk on wine and beer.
My hope sits with the very beginning of this chapter… v1 “Maintain justice
and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.”
Isaiah reminded us in chapter 49:8 that at the right time, the day of salvation God will help us.
John 1:16–grace upon grace is coming, my friends. We must trust that what we read collectively has power and meaning still for us to rejoice in! Thank you, Jesus! 🙌🏻
Verses 9-12 remind me of a time when we had a dog that was supposed to protect our goat herd, but Buddy was much more concerned with the comforts of life- eating, sleeping, and playing. One spring we lost 15 goats to predators under his watch.
These verses were addressing God’s people who were supposed to be watching for the Messiah and carrying out God’s commands. Instead, they were living only for their own pleasure and comfort. Wow! That’s convicting!
Dale’s sermon was a reminder that this Christmas season is not just to provide fun, busy activities. We’re to make the most of our time by living intentionally.
We replaced Buddy with two new livestock guard dogs that took their job seriously. They were like good shepherds, staying with the goats and protecting them well. They rarely have shown signs of fighting the predators. Their barking is enough to ward off attacks. They are vigilant. We haven’t lost a single goat since they’ve been on the job.
I really want to be aware of my tendency to assume things are going to be just fine tomorrow, even when I slack off in my Christian duty. Isaiah clearly points out that mindset is wrong.
Lord, give me your eyes to clearly see threats around me. Help me to spend time with you and allow your Holy Spirit to guide my conversations. Don’t let me get so caught up in being Martha Stewart this holiday season that I miss the assignments you’ve preordained for me. Give me a heart for those the enemy wants to pick off this holiday season.
Thank you for this story and reminder of Dale’s message in how applicable the word can be in our lives. I enjoyed reading it! 🤗