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Isaiah 56

The NASB sub-section heading for this chapter is: Millennial blessings extended to gentiles. I'll be interested if that seem like an obvious interpretation.

Thus says the Lord, "Preserve justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed."

Isaiah 56: 1

All of these recent chapters about the Suffering Servant coming with salvation, here's the reasonable response from us- to do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

Verse 2 goes on to called the man and his son blessed who preserves justice and does righteousness. Who keep the Sabbath and don't do evil. Seems like a very reasonable command for all He suffered for us.

Verse 3 opens up hope for two specific groups, foreigners and eunuchs.

First in verses 4 and 5 He promises to the eunuchs, that if they keep the Sabbath, choose what pleases Him, and hold fast His covenant, he will memorialize them in His house with a name better than son or daughter.

There are many places where the Lord speaks of widows and orphans and this feels very much like that. Something wicked done by the world to a man; but the Lord has compassion and makes a way. We are reading Daniel in my church and I learned that Daniel was most likely made a eunuch when he was forced into the service of the king. What a tragic turn for a young man who did nothing wrong but be alive in the wrong era. But God.

And then verses 6-8 expand on the hope for the foreigner. In verse 3 the foreigner feared the Lord who separate him out from His own people; but for those who join Him, minister to Him and love in the name of the Lord, and those who are His servants, keep His Sabbath, and hold fast the covenant, He will bring to His mountain. We will be joyful in His house of prayer. Our offerings will be acceptable on His altar.

All the people will be able to claim His house of prayer and we will be gathered to those He has already chosen.

Well, there's my answer. This seems pretty clear that He was making a way for the gentiles. The Jews had to work hard to miss this clear indication.

What a beautiful snapshot of our Lord. Caring for those who previously had no hope. He is a good, good God.

Things take a turn in verses 9-12.

Verse 9 sort of seems like the transition. Beasts of the field and forest are invited to come eat. Which I think could still be referencing the gentiles. And, seemingly, the reason for the invitation comes in verse 10. The watchmen are blind, knowing nothing, and not able to do the simple things like a dog barking. Lazy and loving to slumber.

Both Wiersbe and MacArthur infer that the beast are foreigners, but not the ones from verses 1-8. It seems like there was a weird chapter break and this set of verses belongs to a new section that will go on in the next few chapters.

He goes on to criticize them for being greedy, unsatisfied, shepherds without understanding. These were the religious leaders who were clearly not doing their jobs. He describes them as all having turned to their own way. Every one of them with unjust gains. They call to each other to drink today away and then again tomorrow.

Two very different messages in two parts of the chapter, but one consistent God. Life and death. Blesses and curses. He has compassion and He has rebukes.

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