Bible Study: Isaiah 56:1-12
In today’s lesson, God encourages His people to keep His commandant and promises to reward those who remain faithful.
Isaiah Chapter 56
Lessons from the text
Why We Should Not Be Discouraged
If you have been saved, there will be times that you doubt your salvation. You may look around and feel excluded from other believers, feeling like they are in God's grace and you are an outcaste, unable to reach the same spiritualism or receive the same level of blessings they are receiving. What does God say about such feelings? He says in verse three that we are not to say "The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people." We are not to feel isolated or outcaste from the blessings and grace of God.
What about the preachers, pastors, Sunday School teachers, or people who witnesses every day but do not see any fruit for their labor? At some point in our work for the Lord, whatever it is, we feel like we are not making a difference. All the hard work, prayers, and time we invest in other's salvation just don't seem to produce anything. We feel like a dried up tree who might as well sit down and do nothing because we are useless.
How does God respond? He says that those who "choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant... will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."
Even if we feel that God has removed Himself from us and that we are unsuccessful in our work for the Lord, if we stay faithful to God's commandments, then He will honor us and bring us into His holy mountain. Even if we never see the fruit of our labor here on earth, God sees it in heaven and is pleased. Your work may be as simple as living as blameless of a life as you can in front of your coworkers. God will honor you if you remain faithful, so don't give up! Keep pressing onward to the mark of the high calling of God: the blessing of living forever with God on His holy mountain of New Jerusalem.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 God is encouraging the Jews to keep His commandments because Christ is coming soon. Although this verse was written about seven centuries before Jesus’ birth, in God’s eyes Christ’s appearing was “near.” God views time very differently than humans do. The believer is able to exhibit patience when one considers time from the heavenly perspective.
2-8 The believer is not to give up on God just because God has not yet answered one’s prayers. God explicitly promises rewards to those who endure. Even when it seems that God has removed Himself, He promises to return again to those in a covenant relationship with Him. Every sacrifice that one has made (physical sacrifices for the Jew and spiritual sacrifices for the Christian) will be honored by God.
Those who have taken an extra oath to service in the Lord’s work, such as the Eunuchs, will receive the extra blessing of eternal honor and remembrance; in other words, God never forgets anything one does for Him (see Rev. 2:2, Mt. 25:40). When all is said and done, God will restore Israel and draw all of His people, both Jew and Christian, to Jerusalem to celebrate their redemption in the House of the Lord.
9-12 In contrast to the promise of blessings to the faithful, God rebukes those who have abandoned His ways. He actually calls for the devouring of such people. Forsaking God, they are vulnerable to the attack and overpowering of natural forces and the world system, and God gives the “beasts” of this earth permission to attack. God says that such people have even lost the ability to recognize a threat; they cannot “bark” and alert to warn others of a coming problem.
Instead of looking for problems and being an astute watchmen, such people seek after their own gain. They look inward for wisdom instead of learning from others and the Lord. They put themselves as the center of attention, the “life of the party”, and promise an unending parade of fun and indulgence.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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