Y’all ready to get your Bible on?
GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!!!
Today’s readings are Isaiah 54-58
I want to begin with a reminder: His word is the straight edge to which all else must line up, never the other way around. Test everything according to His word. If it contradicts the Father, and your goal is to follow Him, it’s got to go.
I just have so much to share today that it is difficult for me to even begin. I’m struggling between wanting to share all of the things I’ve learned, personal insights, and such, and trying to keep my notes brief for you. I’m afraid I fail on brevity even when I only hit the highlights.
To say that today’s readings provide monumental insights, wisdom, knowledge, and direction would be putting it lightly. So, taking a deep breath, I am going to try to take this eternally consequential knowledge and offer up a summary.
Isaiah 54 begins with the restoration of Israel and the reinforcement of YHWH’s promise to them. As you read this chapter, take note of how adamant the Father is about never abandoning Israel, keeping His covenant, His everlasting commitment to them, and being their eternal redeemer. Everlasting, Eternal, etc. The Father knows what these words mean when He uses them.
Now let’s read a few verses that explain how we become part of this body and then some others that tell how both Jews and Gentile are considered part of YHWH’s chosen people. We do not replace them or boot them out of their spot.
- For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Cor 12:12-13
- This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Ephesians 3:6
- But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.” Romans 11:17-26
- Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Eph 2:11-13
Then, Messiah said:
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. John 10:16
And now the terms of the “new covenant” Jeremiah 31:33
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
And THAT makes me awfully glad that the Father allowed for us to be made a part of Israel, grafted into the cultivated tree that the Father has grown for Himself.
But let us also read what today’s readings say about this because Isaiah 56 is really important to us born Gentiles.
Tying this into today’s readings…
In the ESV translation Isaiah 56 is subtitled: Salvation for Foreigners. Recall that when we see “foreigner”, “stranger”, or “sojourner”, those are references to Gentiles. The Father has always been a God of grace and has made a way for anyone who would join Him to become part of His people. Grace began in Genesis and continues through eternity.
Pay close attention to His call to action in Isaiah 56.
Thus says YHWH: “Keep justice and do righteousness. For soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness will be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Isaiah 56:1-2
Okay, so here are some things to make sure we have on our “to do” list. That is the “if” part of this “if/then” statement and here is the result, the “then”…
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to YHWH say “YHWH will surely separate me from His people”; and let not the eunuch say , “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says YHWH; “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast to my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to YHWH, to minister to Him, to love the name of YHWH, and to be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it and holds fast to my covenant – these I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. The Lord God who gathers the outcasts of Israel declares, “I will gather yet others to Him besides those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:3-8
First of all, did you catch that? A name BETTER THAN SONS AND DAUGHTERS – that is how closely He regards us.
Now back to this passage as a whole…
This. Is. Monumental.
This is us, becoming part of His chosen people. Not kicking the others out of the nest (whom He dearly loves) but being given our own space in the nest.
Check out Romans 11 for more on this and more, still, is coming in Ezekiel.
Note: This is not about Christians becoming Jews or Jews leaving their faith. We can all accept Messiah as our savior and follow YHWH where we are now.
~It is not about converting, it is about repenting.~ Do they accept the Messiah right now? Not as a whole, yet, but the Bible is clear as to why and we play a pivotal role in that. There are yet things that we do not see as well but we are awakening on our branches of the tree just as there is a similar awakening on their branches of the tree.
Sidenote: One thing you will notice several mentions of today is His Sabbath. Note that YHWH refers to it each time as His. Not a Sabbath belonging to a specific group of people, time, or moment, but His. I realize this is a hot button topic and I do want to remind everyone that we don’t debate Sabbath. Read what YHWH says and deal with that information as you will. Our opinions are not needed.
How many sidenotes does that make? Be glad I gave you the edited version of my notes because this was initially twice as long! While we’re here, let me throw in another.
My personal sidenote about Isaiah 58:
Ricky and I have started fasting as a regular part of our lives. I’m not going to go into details because my goal is never to get you to follow me or do as I do. I am by no means the standard to measure anything by. However, one of the things we have noticed is an abnormal rate of healing. Ricky had to have a minor surgical procedure recently and when he went back for his one week checkup the doctor said he had never seen healing that fast. I had a similar medical incident with doctors as well. I say this because when I came upon Isaiah 58 I read how the Father was condemning people who fast for the wrong reasons and then He laid out HIS reasons for fasting:
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7
And next is the all important “then” – HE is about to tell us what happens when we fast for His purposes..
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily; Isaiah 58:8
There are a couple of other “if/then” moments in our reading today and it is very important that we pay attention when we see that, making sure to read the precursors and the after effects of them.
I want to close with this – always a wonderful reminder that I know I, myself, need daily!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
MAY YHWH RICHLY BLESS YOU THIS DAY.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!