March 13, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Isaiah 56-61
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Context:Isaiah begins chapter 56 by speaking of the rewards that will come to those who keep the Lord's commandments. In verse 9, Isaiah highlights the problems in Israel during his day. How many of these problems are present in our society? It often appears that the wicked prosper and the good suffer. Isaiah 57 explains that it is only for a short time, while on this earth, that they will prosper. The wicked will suffer for eternity. The righteous will be comforted and blessed for eternity. Isaiah 58 addresses the multitude of people who go to church regularly and know all the correct answers, yet in their hearts, they are sinning against the Lord. Worshipping the Lord must be done with a sincere heart. By lacking a sincere heart, we prevent God from being able to work in our lives and pour out His blessing upon us. In chapter 59, the sin of the Israelites, which drove the Lord from them, are laid bare. In verse nine, the pronoun shifts, and we read Israel's confession. In the closing verses, the coming of a Redeemer is predicted. Chapter 60 is somewhat odd when you first read it. It appears that the events have taken place in the past, yet it is a way of writing in which prophets speak of future events as if they have already happened. Isaiah talks of the Redeemer and Gentiles coming to Jerusalem (1-7), the return of Israel to Jerusalem (8-14), and Jerusalem's realization of all God's promises (15-22). Chapter 61 deals with the first and second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Based on what Jesus read in the New Testament (Luke 4:16-19), verses 1-2a address the first coming of Jesus. At the time, Isaiah could not distinguish between the two events.