March 17, 2023
DAY 76 JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
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Focus Verse For Today: Isaiah: 56:3
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!
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 by a 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 so that God may 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 the people of Israel will share the good news of Jesus Christ with 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 world sharing the “Good News,” redemption and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 56:1-61:11)
Our focus verse for today is:
Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say,
“The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”
And let no eunuch complain,
“I am only a dry tree.”
(Isaiah 56:3, NIV)
Through the words of Isaiah, God is reassuring the foreigner, a person not an Israelite by birth, who has accepted God and follows God’s ways, that they will receive salvation. It is difficult to think some foreigners would not notice the almighty, creator, nature of the God of Israel, and seek to bond with Him, making Him their God. God loves us all. God hates sin, He does not hate us. God’s salvation is available to all people who seek Him and accept and adopt His ways. God does not hate the people who reject Him – God hates the sin which they love more than God. Ultimately, the person who rejects God to follow a life led by sin is destroyed when sin, their first love, is destroyed by God. From a spiritual perspective: Who, or what, do you love?
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