Hope for All

 
The hope of salvation for all.  Originally just for Jews, excluding all others.  But now, the offer begins to be extended for all people.  Faith, along with God’s Justice and righteousness, is going to overtake bloodline for becoming one of God’s people.  “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”   I like the “Blessed is” phrasing here.  Jesus was obviously influenced in his earthly ministry by Isaiah.  The point here is, just waiting for Messiah to come are plainly not enough.  God’s people had a responsibility to live as God’s people. They were to live rightly while waiting for the coming of Messiah, just as we are to live rightly for His second coming.
Foreigners and eunuchs are not going to be excluded from God’s kingdom if they make the choice to repent of sins and follow God.  This is interesting here – and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.   This is interesting because very often (but not always) a Eunuch was a castrated male official, and therefore prohibited from entering the temple under the law.  The “dry tree” reference is referring to the inability to father children.  I find this interesting because this would have been very significant to these Eunuchs.  Without children, there is no one to remember us when we are gone, so wealthy Eunuchs would often try to construct their own monuments before they died, ensuring their own legacy.  The promise here of a monument WITHIN the temple surely got many people’s attention, along with the everlasting name.
God promises all people who call on Him will be acceptable in His eyes.  He is calling all to Himself – for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.  Not just those who were part of a certain bloodline.  Not just those who fit in.  He is calling ALL people.  The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”   So yes, all means all.  Clearly we saw in the contentiousness between Jesus and the Pharisees that not all people were happy about ALL people gaining access to the kingdom of God.  They were God’s chosen people, not THEM.  If THEY don’t live, look and act like US, then how can they get into the kingdom?   Sounds familiar doesn’t it.  Thank God his kingdom is inclusive, not exclusive.   We will all have our own everlasting monument in His house.  The price of admission is simply belief in Him and submission to His abundant purposes for your life, no matter your starting point.


 “Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.””
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭56:1-8 ESV

 

John Lewis

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