The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 56 Part 1

Isaiah

We end this week by looking at Isaiah 56:1-5

This chapter outlines things for us concerning the last days. It is a passage that speaks about a Kingdom faith – what G-d wants from His people. In this chapter there is an emphasis on the non-Jew being part of G-d’s people. G-d’s plan has always included the nations – the Gentiles (Gen 12:3). G-d created Israel supernaturally. G-d allowed Abraham and Sarah, who had been barren, to conceive a child of promise when they were very old. G-d promised them this son, based on His desire to bless and give us a Kingdom experience – not just for a season or a time but for all of eternity.

v1: Keep justice: Keep G-d’s judgment (what G-d says). This is a commandment. G-d obviously wants us to behave justly, but this word also speaks about ruling (and reigning). This is not speaking about punishment, but about ruling like a judge, giving decrees, making G-dly decisions. 

  • Do righteousness: It is when we agree with G-d’s judgment on a situation (His ruling) and we hold on to what He has said (valuing it and guarding it) that we are going to be executing and bringing forth righteousness. Judgment/Justice is parallel to righteousness. When we agree with G-d and with His rulings (His decisions) on issues then we are going to be people who do righteousness.  
  • My salvation is about to come: This is not speaking about the salvation in regard to Messiah’s work at His first coming. This is speaking about a Kingdom salvation – the victory that we are going to receive in the Kingdom of G-d.
  • Salvation…righteousness: These two are parallel concepts. When we walk in our salvation (when we are experiencing the victory of G-d in our lives) it is going to be manifested in our lives through righteousness – we are going to be doing righteousness (Matt 6:33).

v2: Blessed: Happy are those who behave in a certain way (Matt 5:3-12).

  • Man: An Aramaic word which speaks of a human being. The emphasis of this passage is not upon the Jewish community, but the emphasis is upon seeing the Gentiles (humanity in a general sense) walking in the truths of G-d. This is what G-d called Israel to do. They were supposed to be an influence, a light to the nations. They were meant to help the nations embrace the same things that G-d gave Israel to embrace.
  • This: Keeping the law, keeping the commandments that G-d has given (The Sabbath and not doing evil are the two commands mentioned in this verse), is not for the Jewish people only but is something that G-d requires of all mankind (we do not keep the righteous requirements of the law in order to be saved, but, because we are saved, we keep the righteous requirements of the law). 
  • Son of man: Literally: Son of Adam ie: a human being (Jew and Gentile).
  • Keeps: This is a word that means that it is something that needs to be applied to our lives. 
  • Keeps the Sabbath: There is no temple or altar today and therefore the Sabbath sacrifices cannot be offered up as was required by the law of Moses (Numbers 28:9-10). We cannot keep the Sabbath today according to the letter of the law. This does not mean that we are exempt from keeping it in the spirit or the newness of the law – ie in a redeemed way (Roms 7:6-7). The message of the Sabbath is just as important and relevant for our lives today as it was in the days of Moses. Yeshua called Himself the L-rd of the Sabbath (ie the L-rd of the Kingdom – Mark 2:27-28). Many of the miracles that Yeshua performed were on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day set aside for rest and restoration – a day set apart to spend in the Word and with the Word – John 1:1-4. The Sabbath speaks about the order of G-d (it is a Kingdom word). Keeping the Sabbath shows a desire to be restored to His order. Keeping the Sabbath today means that we can study it, we can proclaim its message of rest and restoration to others, and we can apply its truth to our lives. Keeping the Sabbath should be a blessing and a benefit for our lives – never a burden. 
  • Keeps… the Sabbath… keeps his hand from doing any evil: Parallelism helps us to interpret passages correctly. When we rightly apply the Sabbath principles to our lives (as led by the Spirit) our hands are going to do good (ie the will of G-d) and they will refrain from doing evil. Keeping the Sabbath is going to have a sanctifying and purifying effect in our lives – helping us to do the will of G-d. 

v3: The son of the foreigner: A Gentile, a non-Jew. 

  • Joined: Attached. In the passive form this is the same word for a Levite. A Levite was someone who joined together with, assisted or served alongside the priests. This is what the Gentile in this verse has done – He has attached himself to the L-rd, he is serving the L-rd. 
  • The L-RD has utterly separated me from His people: This is not something a believing Gentile should say. G-d does not make a distinction between Jews and Gentiles who believe in Him (Gal 3:28, Col 3:11, 1 Cor 12:13). 
  • Eunuch: One who cannot have children – whether through their own choice, but, more often than not, through compulsion. His future, his heritage, his legacy has been dried up, in the eyes of the world, because he is unable to produce any children. 

Note: From G-d’s perspective: the eunuch and the Gentile ought not to think that they have no Kingdom future. Both of them (in Messiah) have a Kingdom future.

v4: Keep My Sabbaths… choose what pleases Me…hold fast My covenant: These are concepts which are parallel. The L-rd delights in His Sabbaths. When we choose what the L-rd desires or delights in, when we want to apply Sabbath truth to our lives, it is evidence that we are holding on to G-d’s covenant – faithful to His commandments. Applying Biblical principles to our lives is not legalism. Legalism is defined as ‘doing good works and obeying the law to merit or earn salvation’. We do not do good works or obey G-d’s commandments in order to earn our salvation. As believers, those who are IN Messiah, we do good works and obey the law as evidence/fruits of salvation. If we claim to be a believer, led by the Spirit of G-d, but we think that the Sabbath is irrelevant and has no significance for us whatsoever, then we are not hearing from the Spirit of G-d but are living in deception. 

v5: Even to them: In Isaiah’s day the eunuchs (especially those who had made a decision to have themselves emasculated so that they could work in places where they could become very wealthy – Acts 8:27) were thought of as cut off from G-d. They were viewed as outcasts and as rejected by the family of G-d. G-d is saying here that even those who had made unwise, life altering decisions, like the eunuchs did, could repent and find themselves restored to a right relationship with G-d – being joined to Him and able to serve Him. 

  • My house: A dwelling place. A place of familial intimacy. 
  • My walls: Walls speak of protection. Those who repent and hold on to G-d are going to experience the benefits of being in a covenantal relationship with Him. 
  • A place (literally: hand) and a name: This is a Hebrew idiom. It speaks about actions (what is done with our hands – our behaviour) leading to our name being known. G-d is going to give these individuals a good reputation, a reputation based upon their commitment to their covenantal relationship with G-d. 
  • An everlasting (eternal) name: They will have a Kingdom hope. 
  • Shall not be cut off: Once we have entered into a covenantal relationship (united with G-d through Messiah), part of His family, nothing is going to be able to change that reality.

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