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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 56: God's desire for His House to be a home for all


Part 1: v.1,2: A call to righteousness on the Sabbath

Part 2: v.3-9: My House to be a home for all comers with a good heart

Part 3: v.10-12: The leaders who fall short


[Preliminary notes: The call of the prophecy in this chapter is to righteousness that can be especially witnessed in the way the Sabbath is observed [v.1,2]. The community of God's people is to be a welcoming people, welcoming all who would come from afar in whatever state, welcome them to worship as they too observe the Sabbath [v.3-9]. But having made clear His heart for such people and shown a way they can reveal their hearts towards Him, the Lord turns on His existing leaders – watchmen-shepherds – who should be looking out for the flock and protecting and providing for them – but who, instead, are self-concerned, sleeping and drinking [v.10-12]. So there is vision and rebuke, the vision showing what the Lord would like to happen and the rebuke, what He finds is happening.]



Part 1: v.1,2: A call to righteousness on the Sabbath


v.1 Put your lives right for I'm bringing my righteousness

v.1  This is what the Lord says:

‘Maintain justice
    and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
    and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

v.2 You'll be blessed, for example, if you use the Sabbath properly…

v.2  Blessed is the one who does this –
    the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps their hands from doing any evil.'



Part 2: v.3-9: My House to be a home for all comers with a good heart


v.3 … so you can become a home for aliens and the needy imperfect

v.3  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.'


v.4-6 If those people come with open hearts to me, that's enough…

v.4  For this is what the Lord says:

‘To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose what pleases me
    and hold fast to my covenant –

v.5  to them I will give within my temple and its walls
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that will endure for ever.
v.And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
    to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant –

v.7 … and these people I will bless as they bring their offerings

v.these I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.'

v.8 My people will be gathered exiles, to whom I may gather others…

v.8  The Sovereign Lord declares –
    he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
‘I will gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered.'


v.9 … so come whoever you are and in whatever state you are

v.9  Come, all you beasts of the field,
    come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!


Part 3: v.10-12: The leaders who fall short


v.10 The trouble is that Israel's watchers are asleep on the job

v.10  Israel's watchmen are blind,
    they all lack knowledge;
they are all mute dogs,
    they cannot bark;
they lie around and dream,
    they love to sleep.

v.11 They want feeding but do little [implied], my shepherds aren't up to it

v.11  They are dogs with mighty appetites;
    they never have enough.
They are shepherds who lack understanding;
    they all turn to their own way,
    they seek their own gain.

v.12 They're too concerned with indulging themselves with drink

v.12  ‘Come,' each one cries, ‘let me get wine!
    Let us drink our fill of beer!
And tomorrow will be like today,
    or even far better.'



Continue to Chapter 57