Isaiah 56


‘This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. 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.” 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.” 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—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. 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—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.” The Sovereign LORD declares—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:1-8

Salvation For Others

This chapter begins by telling us about God’s righteousness in the new age.

The sabbath, so long neglected by Israel, receives special emphasis from God. Those who keep the sabbaths in the way taught by God would be blessed.

The blessedness is extended to those who might think that they had no right to console themselves with the promises, the proselytes and the eunuchs.

The keeping of the Sabbath day, under the Old Testament law, showed respect for God while refraining from doing evil showed respect for man. True religion consists of two things, our attitude toward God and our attitude toward man.

We read of the full realisation of this promise was to be for the Gospel age. God would richly bless those in the restoration who kept His covenant. However, the promise finds its fulfilment in the church in the name given.

Notice the following.

1. The name was to be given by God.

2. It was to be given in His house.

3. It was to be better than that of sons and daughters.

4. It was to be everlasting.

5. It was to be given to the obedient.

The New Testament application of this is as follows.

1. The name Christian was given by God, Acts 11:26.

2. The name was given in God’s house, 1 Timothy 3:14-15.

3. It is better than son or daughter, James 2:7.

4. It is to last unto the end, 1 Peter 4:16.

5. It is bestowed upon obedient children.

Jew and Gentile alike are gathered into God’s house, Ephesians 2:14-16, and God will not restrict salvation to the Jews but will extend it to all, John 10:16 / Mark 16:15-16 / Revelation 22:17.

It is circumcision of the heart that identifies the people of God today, Colossians 2:11-14. Discipleship has changed from focusing on one day to every day, Romans 12:1-2, and God’s people today no longer look to a physical temple in order to pray, but pray directly to God wherever they are, Matthew 21:13 / Mark 11:17 / John 10:16 / Ephesians 2:17 / 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

God’s Accusation Against The Wicked

‘Come, all you beasts of the field, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest! 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. 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. “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.” Isaiah 56:9-12

From these verses through to chapter 57:21, we read of the negligence of Israel’s leaders and the errors of His people.

Here we read of the conduct of the greedy rulers. The prophet reproves the wicked and the unbelievers who had worshipped idols and had failed to teach God’s Word to their children.

They are ‘greedy dogs’, feeding themselves while the flock is scattered and starved. The full-time prophets were more concerned for their own well-being than the safety of the nation.

The words, ‘let me get wine’, means they had the spirit which said, ‘let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die’, Isaiah 22:13.

De Hoff, in his commentary, says the following.

‘There are always people who indulge themselves thinking only of the present and caring nothing for the future of themselves or their children.’

Go To Isaiah 57