67 Isaiah / Part 2 (16)

Invited to a blessing

Isaiah 56:1-8
Ephesians 2:11-22
T To remember God

 Isaiah begins to tell about the new step of people considered people of the Lord by atonement of this servant, from Chapter 56. We have watched after Chapter 40 as Part 2 of Isaiah, the reason was because long time passed after Chapter 39 was written and Isaiah made it the subject that the prospects of the achievement of the salvation of God which depended on new revelation of God was opened by the servant of the Lord. And this prophet seems to have remained silent between a little, once again. There will be the reason there that a certain people call it "the third Isaiah" from Chapter 56 to Chapter 66, and assume it is a thing of another person. In fact, it seems that his silence was not so long, and the subject does not leave a servant of the Lord at all, but does not assume it Isaiah Part 3. However, I imagine that a prophet was taught the newer prospects from here by God, and surely he would write down this while himself is excited. We keep reading while being excited and are not so?

 "Thus says the Lord, 'Preserve justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed.'"(1) "Justice" will be the state that it seems to be right to God's eyes, and "righteousness" will be said that we do God's will to keep His justice. And that justice society may think that it sets out for the new world that God rules over. "For My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed.", this is declaration of God. We of the present age must hear it especially. While the situation dyed to the desire and self-centeredness is accelerating, we must understand that it is requesting an opposite step with it.

 Such a step is shown concretely. "Who keeps from profaning the sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."(2) "Keeps his hand from doing any evil", you may think with extension that it follows to preserve justice and do righteousness. However, it is lined up there, "to keep from profaning the sabbath", it is raised like the most important problem. Though there is many which is said to "follow" in law elsewhere, why will it be the sabbath? Surely it seems that the sabbath was forgot in Israel of the Isaiah times. In a claim of Isaiah that "there is not justice" has been repeated in Isaiah many times till now, the Israeli life that ignored God is risen here, but, it was the only center subject of his message to "remember God". And it will be thought that to keep the sabbath was the center remembering God.

U To the people of sorrow

 "How blessed is the man who does this,", a blessing to people keeping the sabbath firmly is told here, and Isaiah is telling this blessing for the Israeli weakest people. "Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, 'The lord will surely separate me from His people.'"(3) A foreigner, perhaps they are seemed a temporary resident in Cannan such as Amon person or the Moabite, and they belonged for a long time in Israel. The eunuch (a castrated man) was the people who belonged to the Israeli private parts. They were prescribed so that it was protected as the Israeli social weak, but actually it was a hanger-on, and it was the existence that protruded. "No one who is emasculated, or has his male organ cut off, shall enter the assembly of the Lord. ..... No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the Lord; ....."(23:1-) This means that they don't have citizenship in Israel. That situation, tax-gatherers such as Matthew and Zaccheus and unpleasant leprosy person or the person who was possessed to a demon were not accepted in Jewish society at the times of Jesus. And now, is it piled up in the state that Arab cannot have their own place in Palestine, appearing not? Such their sorrow would reach to
Isaiah painfully.

 When the foreigner and eunuchs who accumulated the history of such a sorrow are added to people of the Lord, Isaiah passes on words of a blessing of the Lord. "For thus says the Lord, 'To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My wall a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off. Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him, and to lobe the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath, and holds fast My covenant; even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.'"(4-7)

V Invited to a blessing

 Unfortunately it seems that there is not the fact that they were added to Israel, not only in the times of Isaiah, but, in the times of Israel second shrine that they returned from captivity, too. The action that should form the basis of people Israel of the Lord to consider the weak cannot be found in current Israel republic either. Israel persists in a special race of chosen people of the lord stubbornly, but, it is felt that they have closed their eyes to the fact consciously, that is consideration to another person and they are people of priest to take words of the Lord, too. And Isaiah confronted such stubbornness of them as a prophet many times, but it seems that he had given up in despair at last. We can hear already that Isaiah heard a message of blessing of God in the large world across Israel as a race, and preached it. For the blessing to the weak, Isaiah may want us to hear it in a place of the Gospel of servant that the Lord is Jesus. His posture of this message reaches to us.

 Surely a weak person / a foreigner for a Jew and a eunuch will be us. I want to hear two blessings of God now, and at first, we must take it in our heart it is the blessing through the Gospel of Jesus, as weak persons. It is two, and the first thing is a promise "To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.". What an eunuch grieved over when "I am dry tree" is because he cannot hold his child who should become inheritor in his hand, and it meant that the land which should have been distributed to him with a blessing "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth," was not given. To have Israeli citizenship, it is to get the extremely concrete blessing. There is not that citizenship. For us of the present age, will its blessing be found? Will the house which we bought through hardships become its blessing? We cannot but say no. Generally, because we lack in taking it that inherited property (the all that it is necessary for people such as land and work or life to live) is a blessing from God, the houses which paid the price in oneself (who think) cannot be blessed. However, to the eunuch who despairs crucially that there is not such a blessing, but, it is said that "I will give your inherited property in my castle wall.". Will not it be the blessing that our name is engraved into a country of God?

 Another blessing is that "Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.". When Solomon built a shrine, he prayed thus "And listen to the supplication of Thy servant and of Thy people Israel, when they pray toward this place; (TKings 8:30). It may be said that prayer grew. From this place, the church has been learned with a house of prayer. We pray to God. Some day, we can meet God and talk to God. Prayer at the church is the model. However, God hears our prayer. Because, God carved our name who believed in the cross of Jesus as His own people in heaven. We are invited to such a blessing of God. In such present age when no sorrowful cry reaches, let's remember such happiness in our heart.