The more assurance God gives us of the performance of His promises,
the stronger obligations He lays us under to obedience to His commands.
Righteousness and justice on our part, are required to evidence the security of our faith and repentance,
and to open the way of mercy.
1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
3 ¶ Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
9 ¶ All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.
10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
Isaiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Isaiah 56 – The Blessedness of Sabbath-Keeping
The bright array of Messianic promises, which occupied the preceding chapters, is now followed by a portion of less interest, seeing that our attention is not now fastened on Christ, but on Israel. Birk calls this sermon “The Middle Ages of Delay,” and says: “This new section of advice and warning belongs to this whole period from Isaiah to Christ. The like message applies now to the Church of Christ and its prospect of the Second Advent.”
Special emphasis is laid on Sabbath-keeping because it was the special sign of God’s connection with Israel. See Exodus 31:13-17; Ezekiel 20:12. It was also a type and pledge of the redemption rest, soon to be brought in and perfected by Christ’s finished work, Hebrews 4:9-10.
What an ideal is presented here for character and conduct! To keep God’s rest in our heart—the rest of faith; to cease from ourselves; to be joined to the Lord by one Spirit; to minister to Him; to love His name; to be His servants! What more could we imagine as characteristic of the Christian soul! Let us ask God to bring us to His “holy mountain” and to make us “joyful” in His “house of prayer.” —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 56:7—Even them will I bring to my holy mountain.
Who are these favored souls? Ah, it is a miracle of grace and comfort to find that they were once, like ourselves, Gentiles after the flesh, separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, dug from the same hole of the pit to which we have belonged! And if they were lifted to such holy nearness to God—if this be indeed a true picture of God’s dealings with Gentiles, then let us take heart, and ask that not one of these good things should fail in our own experience.
But mark the conditions, as detailed in Isaiah 56:6. We must be joined to the Lord in an indissoluble covenant; we must minister to Him in daily holy service as his priests; we must love his Name; we must diligently serve Him; we must abide in the Sabbath-keeping of the inner rest of the heart; and we must hold fast by his covenant. These are indispensable conditions to test the caliber and quality of the souls who are admitted to his inner presence. You must conform to them if you would be among those whom God brings in.
To what does God call such souls? To mountains of vision, whence they look out on eternal landscapes, and stand above the taint of this world, its smoke and dust. To joy: He makes them joyful in his house of prayer, for all true prayer has in it the seeds of everlasting joy. To that acceptance which fills the soul with calm and hallowed delight. Such things are within our reach; not too great or high for our feet to attain, because God will bring us in. He gathereth the outcasts; He collects his flock when straying, and leads them up to the dewy pastures of the mountain lawns. —Our Daily Homily