THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part LXV: God's Full Acceptance Of All Saved Individuals In Israel's Messianic Kingdom
A. Many people struggle with the painful burden of low self-esteem, the sense that they never have the right credentials as people to measure up to acceptance with others, including even acceptance with God.
B. Isaiah 56:1-8 predicts the fellowship of all individuals who turn to God regardless of ethnicity or human weaknesses, a passage that serves as an encouraging lesson to all who suffer low self-esteem (as follows):
II. God's Full Acceptance Of All Saved Individuals In The Messianic Kingdom, Isaiah 56:1-8.
A. Addressing believers in Israel who anticipated the salvation of the Kingdom after the Babylonian Captivity, God in Isaiah 56:1 directed them to keep justice and to do righteousness, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1111.
B. Accordingly, individual believers in Israel would be blessed who heeded the Sabbath rest and kept their hands from performing any evil in violation of the Law and in preparation for the future Kingdom, Isaiah 56:2.
C. In fact, God directed that the "foreigner" (nekar, B. D. B., A Heb.-Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 648), the Gentile in Israel who joined himself to Israel's Lord in faith in Him, NOT claim that the Lord would surely separate him as a Gentile from God's people and that the "eunuch" (saris, Ibid., p. 710) NOT say, "Behold, I am a dry tree," suffering dishonor in being unable to produce a lineage and hence be an outcast from the temple worship of God's people, Isaiah 56:3. These kinds of people were notoriously omitted from Israel's spiritual commonwealth and fellowship as outcasts:
1. Under the Law, Gentiles were excluded from Israel's commonwealth and worship assembly, Eph. 2:11-12.
2. Also, besides not being permitted to enter the assembly of God in the temple worship under the Law, eunuchs suffered social humiliation for being unable to sire sons and leave a lineage, Deuteronomy 23:1.
D. However, in the coming Messianic Kingdom, for those godly eunuchs who observed God's Sabbaths and held fast to His covenant, God would give them within His temple walls a monument and a name better than what his having sons and daughters could provide: God would give them an everlasting name that would not be cut off, Isaiah 56:4-5. The reference to a name that would "not be cut off" recalls the Deuteronomy 23:1 description of a eunuch who has been castrated, indicating that God would work to heal the pain of low esteem and cultural dishonor upon having been made a eunuch by providing a lasting heritage that is better than having produced a lineage of sons and daughters! (Ibid., Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament)
E. Those foreigners who joined themselves to the Lord to minister to Him, to love Him and to be His servants, who observed God's Sabbaths would God actually bring into His holy mountain, making them joyful in His house of prayer, Isaiah 56:6-7a. The Lord would make them joyful in worshiping Him with their burnt offerings that would be offered on His altar, even though they were Gentiles, Isaiah 56:7b with Amos 9:11-12.
F. Indeed, the temple in the Kingdom would be called a house of prayer for all peoples (Isa. 56:7c), what Jesus later mentioned when He cleansed the Jerusalem temple of the moneychangers in Mark 11:17.
G. In conclusion, the Lord God Who would gather Israel's outcasts would also gather still others to her in addition to those of her who were gathered (Isaiah 56:8), for God would graciously gather the outcasts of all of the nations who believed in Him and accepted His salvation!
Lesson: God through Isaiah predicted that He would fully accept all saved individuals in the Messianic Kingdom, be they the outcasts of Israel or the outcasts of the nations, be they outcasts by way of ethnicity or even by way of physical deformity, bringing them into His temple for full fellowship and worship of Him, for God was determined that His temple would be called the house of prayer for all individuals of all of the nations who trusted in Him.
Application: (1) May we trust in Christ for salvation from sin and participation not only in eternal life (John 3:16), but in the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom. (2) If we experience low self esteem due to our ethnicity or due to some physical malady or deformity, may we realize that we are fully accepted by God in the Beloved One, in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6), and so learn to accept ourselves as beloved and cherished individuals in Christ. (3) If God so accepts us, may we also accept all others who have put their trust in Christ regardless of human characteristics or deformities that often exclude such folk from the acceptance of man, cf. James 2:4-10. (4) May we also value the INDIVIDUAL'S worth in relating to others, for God relates to man based on his INDIVIDUAL commitment of faith in Him, not based on the human GROUP with which he has been associated.