March 16, 2016

Isaiah 56:1-12

Where is your confidence? The commands and promises of the Lord are worthy of it. Listen to what the Lord says: Keep justice, do what is right, don’t profane the Sabbath, and keep your hand from evil. Know your salvation is coming (56:1-2).

Isaiah recognizes two who lack confidence—eunuchs and foreigners (56:4, 6). Unable to have children, eunuchs have forfeited their ability to bear honor for their family by carrying on their name. Foreigners, even though they have converted, remain as outsiders in the community. Both of them are unable to participate in temple worship and hold a place of honor within the synagogue. The Lord promises them both the rewards their hearts long for by describing their place in his house (56:7-8).

For one, he grants monuments to their faithfulness, and for the other, he confirms his house welcomes prayer from every nation. The Lord knows our hearts, knows where we’re hurting, knows where we lack confidence, and he desires to bless us in ways we long for the most. We know what he asks of us, and we want his blessing. We can have confidence that he loves us and wants to share his blessing with us, and we can trust his requests are for the good of his name and his people.

For those who are overconfident in their position, the proverb “Pride comes before the fall” comes to mind. He symbolizes them as guards and shepherds who will not just be hurt by the dogs, but also will lose what they are responsible for protecting (56:9-11). How are you protecting what you hold dear? With whom are you entrusting it?