Reading Passage for 24th September:

Isaiah 56
Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come.

This prophetic Word is directed to God’s dejected people, who have slacked in obedience and righteousness. God shakes them out of this by calling them to keep justice and do righteousness in anticipation of what He will do. But Isaiah offers the reason why the people are to make these changes to their lives. “For soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed” (Isaiah 56:1). Salvation is coming so change the way of living, Keep the covenant God has made with you because His righteousness is on the way. Consider how this message was repeated by John the Baptist. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Salvation and righteousness were coming quickly and it is time for the people to change their ways and draw near to the Lord.

This salvation is life-changing. We desire to live differently because God’s salvation has come through Jesus and now, we wait eagerly for its full consummation. To say this another way, obedience is to be lived out in response to this salvation that has been revealed to you and me.

Vs 2 But God wants to make it clear that this invitation and glorious offer is not extended only to Israel, but to all people. The foreigner is not to think that he will be kept separate from the family of God. No one will be distinguished or separated among God’s people. Anyone who holds to covenant are going to be offered rich blessings.

Notice that verse 4 emphasizes the keeping of the Sabbath. We must understand the purpose of the Sabbath and what the Sabbath was commemorating. Deuteronomy 5:12-15 gives us clarity on the purpose of the Sabbath. And he reminds us this again in Isaiah 56. The purpose of the Sabbath was to remember that they were slaves in Egypt and that God brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Now the eunuchs are told to keep the Sabbath (56:4) and the foreigners are commanded to keep the Sabbath (56:6). Why? The Sabbath observance represents the covenant relationship of God with his people.

To these who keep God’s covenant and choose to do the things that please the Lord (56:4) God says He will give something far better than a physical family. Far better than sons and daughters, God will give all people in the house of God and within the walls of His kingdom a monument and name that is everlasting and will never be cut off.

Now, who are these people who are enjoying these privileges and blessings in the Lord? Notice verse 6. These are people who join themselves to the Lord, serve the Lord, love the name of the Lord, will be the Lord’s servants, hold fast to God’s covenant, and keep the Sabbath.

The Result (56:7-8)
“These I will bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” Notice that by coming into a relationship with the Lord, belonging to his covenant of peace, and choosing to do the things that please the Lord his people will be joyful in the house of prayer. What a powerful picture!

God is still calling for more outcasts to come to him (56:8). Woe to us, if we do not present to every person the opportunity to hear the gospel and come into a joyful relationship with our God. God has made a new family in Christ and those who choose to do the things that please the Lord enjoy being in this family. And God is calling more people to come into his family. Let us be the family of God that represents the house of prayer joyfully communing with God, let us remember to invite, invest, and include people in our lives and church.

1. Can God trust you with implicit obedience?
2. What does the Covenant relationship with God look like in your life?
3. What have you done to include someone in church, a Care Group, or family, that they may know Christ?