March 19, 2021
DAY 76: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
On our journey today, the Lord shares his intention to grant salvation to all who serve Him and honor His commandments. The foreigner, the Gentile, is welcomed to God’s kingdom. All are welcomed to God’s kingdom who worship Him and follow His commandments.
Take a moment to pray asking God for His understanding of Isaiah 56-61. Read Isaiah 56-61. Let’s journey!
Following Solomon’s death, the Kingdom of Israel was split in two; Judah, in the south, consisted of two tribes and remained under the control of Solomon’s son Rehoboam, while Israel, to the north, consisted of the remaining ten tribes and came under control of Jeroboam. The split occurred around 930 BC. During the nearly 200 years in between the split and the writing of Isaiah, the two nations were often at war. Throughout the book of Isaiah, the prophet offers both messages of coming judgement and of hope for redemption.
Isaiah 56-61: God’s salvation from sin, and the gift of dwelling with Him eternally, is not reserved exclusively for the people of Israel. Throughout the Old Testament we encounter foreigners who believe in the God of Israel. God gave Israel rules for how to treat foreigners who were believers. Israel, during the time of Isaiah, had many righteous people turning from God and accepting unrighteous living as acceptable. This sounds like our world today. God desires to dwell with the contrite. Contrite means those who acknowledge Him as the Creator of all and follow His commandments. Fasting is described as how we treat others. It appears that failing to provide for the hungry and homeless was a serious problem of Isaiah’s time. It also appears that justice was measured out by social status, rather than legal standard applied equally to all. God would not acknowledge the ritual of fasting when true fasting, caring for His creation was being ignored. God may choose to not hear the prayers of an unrepentant person. Israel must confess their sin that God my redeem them from their sin and so they may be His people again. Isaiah shares with the people of Israel that God has not abandoned them but, in fact, is going to restore them. Jesus is foretold as the coming servant, and that the people of Israel will share the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. This is precisely what happened. Jesus came and died for the sins of all people. After Jesus’ resurrection, His disciples went out into all the word sharing the “Good News,” redemption and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 56:1-61:11)
Read chapters 56 through 61 and ask yourself these questions: What warning of judgment is Isaiah giving? What message of hope is Isaiah giving? What is your hope?
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