March 6, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Isaiah 51-55
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Context: The end of chapter 50 can be rather sobering, especially if you do not read on! But combined with chapter 51, we see that God has a future plan for Israel. Chapter 51 begins with a description of Israel's past (1-3) and moves into a narrative on the outlook of Israel's future (4-16). Chapter 51 ends with a warning to Israel to "Awake!" Although the Lord has rebuked Israel and poured out His wrath upon it, the day is coming when Israel will once again experience God's blessing and those that have stood against Israel will be punished. Chapter 52 speaks of when Israel is redeemed. Everyone will know it was the Lord. When Jesus returns everyone will know it is Him, unlike the last time He walked the earth. The final three verses of chapter 52, introduce chapter 53, which describes the suffering of Christ, which allowed us to all be saved. Jesus willing sacrificed Himself for us. Many refused to believe Isaiah when he foretold of the Savior, just as many today refuse to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ, which grants them salvation. Chapter 54 is a song of joy. Israel will once again reclaim the entirety of the land promised to them by the Lord, through His covenant with Abraham. They will reclaim the land without fear, for the Lord will be with them and none can stand against the Lord. In chapter 55, God extends an invitation to all of mankind; the invitation is salvation. Of course, one must accept the invitation. Isaiah also explains that God's ways are not our ways. He may do things that do not make sense to us, but all is in accordance with His divine plan.