Nov. 17. Additional Words from Isiah

Is. 56:1-58:14

There are two schools of thought among scholars regarding the author and time of writing of the final works of Isaiah. It is thought that they were written by an unknown prophet after the temple was restored. However, if one is to believe the power of God to foretell the future, it is probable that Isaiah himself with God’s guidance did indeed pen those final words that bear his name.

When the temple was first built by Solomon, eunuchs and foreigners/Gentiles were excluded from participating in any of the temple activities. With the temple rebuilding after the Babylonian exile, those rules would change. However, it was necessary for all people to be obedient to the laws of God. The future acceptance of all people in the Lord’s church can also be recognized in the prophet’s words. Leaders who cared for their own selfish interests instead of the welfare of the people were condemned.

Man has a long history of failing to recognize God as his Supreme maker and sustainer. Instead, many look to inanimate objects and worship them instead of worshipping the true God. The prophet spoke harsh words of condemnation against those idol worshippers. Some who claim to follow the Lord try to hold to Him with one hand while holding to idols with the other hand. Covetousness is also a form of idol worship. They are committing spiritual adultery. When those people cry out to God, He will say, “Let your collection of idols deliver you.” God’s inheritance is to the ones who put their trust in Him. “There is no peace for the wicked.” They are like a stormy sea with boisterous waves.

Many times in man’s attempt to obey the letter of the law outwardly, he is guilty of neglecting to care for other important needs in life. His inward man, the heart is not with God. There were many hardships that faced the exiles upon their return to Jerusalem from Babylon. As the leadership went about restoring the temple and city, they failed to care for those who were suffering those hardships. The prophet admonished them to, “Extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually…”