Isaiah 56 ✒️ A House of Prayer

May 18, 2024 • Dr. Dave Burnette

1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

 2Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

 3Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

 4For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

 5Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

 6Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

 7Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

 8The Lord GOD, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

 9All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.

 10His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

 11Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

 12Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

COMMENTARY by Dr. Dave Burnette

Written By: God through Inspiration

Penned By: Isaiah

Date Penned: (700-681 BC)

Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)

Theme: Words of Comfort (c 40-66)

Message: Blessings for the Gentiles (v 1-12)

Isaiah 56 Commentary 

(56:2) The Sabbath - God commanded his people to rest and honor him on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). He wants us to serve him every day, but he wants us to make one day special when we rest and focus our thoughts on him. For the Israelites, this special day was the Sabbath (Saturday). Some Christians set Saturday aside as this special day, but most honor Sunday (the day of the week that Jesus rose from the dead) as the "Lord's Day." How can you make your Sabbath a special time of honoring and worshiping the Lord? 

(56:3-6) Eunuchs - Eunuchs and strangers (foreigners) represent those who were outside God's covenant because they were not biological Israelites or had an injury that prevented them from being fully integrated into worship at the temple. But God promised that both eunuchs and non-Israelites would be made a part of God's family fully and that they would be part of a people who would never be forgotten. He guaranteed them a new identity and a new place with dignity. God looks at all people as equal in status and worth. 

(56:3-6) Inclusion - Isaiah clearly proclaimed the radical message that God's blessings are for all people, even Gentile foreigners and eunuchs, who were often excluded from worship and not considered citizens in Israel. Whatever your race, social position, vocation, or financial situation, God's blessings are as much for you as for anyone else. No one must exclude in any way those whom God chooses to include. (See 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Colossians 3:11 for more on this teaching.) 

(56:7) Money Changers - Jesus quoted from this verse when he threw the money changers out of the temple (Mark 11:17). See the second note on Mark 11:15-17. 

(56:9-12) Watching for Others - The "watchmen" were the nation's leaders. The leaders of Israel were blind to every danger and thus did not recognize or warn others when danger was coming. Apathetic about their people's needs, they were more concerned about satisfying their own greed. Leadership's special privileges can cause leaders either to sacrifice for the good of their people or to sacrifice their people for their own greed. If you are in a leadership position, use it for the good of your people.

LIFE APPLICATION by Dr. Dave Burnette

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 56. In our text today, we see Blessings for the Gentiles; seeing both Jew and Gentile will be of one body. What catches my eye is verse 7, where the Lord states that His House will be called a house of prayer for all nations. In making an application, we see that the Church fulfills this prophecy for modern-day Christians. We can gather in worship, making petitions to our Lord, who hears and responds according to His Will for our lives. How about you? Do you attend Church and participate in this gift of the Lord of Praying to a Holy God? Let us learn from our text today and remember that we can pray, when we all gather at the House of God and pray, we are fulfilling this prophecy of our Lord.

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