Reading Through the Bible, Saturday, August 13. Isaiah 56-59.

    Perhaps in no other book of the Bible is God’s desire for all nations to recognize and worship Him so clearly seen than in the book of Isaiah.  Isaiah 10:11 speaks of a time when “the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.”  Isaiah says this was part of the mission of Israel: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted” (12:4).  God says this is one of the reasons he called Israel in the first place: ““It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (49:6).

    And so it should come as no surprise that in chapter 56, the Lord offers His assurance that all those who seek Him and give Him their allegiance will be accepted by Him.  Make no mistake: the prophet is not saying we come to God on our own terms, or that everyone who claims to be a child of God actually is a child of God.  That distinction belongs only to those who “bind” themselves to the Lord’s covenant, “follow” his commands” and “hold fast” to His covenant.

    The Lord’s house was never intended to be a residence for the few, but for everyone – and God calls His people to make Him known so that all might be saved.