Friday, March 21, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 56

Christ's gift of salvation is for everyone. This is a point I have tried to illustrate over the course of the last several chapters here in the book of Isaiah. Today, we take this message somewhat for granted because we have heard it many times in our lives. It has become one of the central tenets of the Christian faith. Much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is considered historically Jewish, however. Many books in the Old Testament were written with the Jewish faith in mind, and in fact they are still used in Judaism today. They still search for the promised Messiah because they deny that Jesus Christ was indeed their Messiah. At the time many of these books were written, Jewish society was not very accepting to those that were not considered holy. The very idea that foreigners and outcasts of society could be granted salvation was, well, foreign.

3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say,
       "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."
       And let not any eunuch complain,
       "I am only a dry tree."

 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-

 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 not be cut off.

 6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD
       to serve him,
       to love the name of the LORD,
       and to worship him,
       all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
       and who hold fast to my covenant-

 7 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." – Isaiah 56:3-7

These verses clearly illustrate, even to the Israelites, that salvation is meant for everyone under Christ. People are not rejected by Christ because of where they were born. They do not get cast out because they are undesirable in society. Though the Israelites had an elitist view when it came to some people, God did not. An example of how this carries over to today can be seen with the homeless. Some people are elitist in that they don't want to see them. They may blame the homeless for not taking charge to change their plight. Those that are homeless can still believe though and find salvation in Christ. They are living examples of what it means to be blessed by God even when they are not outwardly blessed.


  1. What are other ways that we see salvation as not for certain people?
  2. Why did God need to specify this?
  3. Why did God still have his "chosen people" even if salvation is meant for all?

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