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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 56

Verses 1-12

  1. Intro: (1-12)
    1. Live well in the light of your salvation!
      1. I like the Message Bible here, “Do what’s right and do it in the right way, For salvation is just around the corner, my setting-things-right is about to go into action… watch your step and don’t do anything evil!”
      2. Live a life of consistency. Care about justice. Be ready to put things right.
        1. An exhortation to right living!
    2. ALIEN’S & EUNUCH’S! (3-8)
    3. ENUCH’S! (3b-5)
    4. EUNUCH - literally bed-keeper. [Jews didn’t practice. But Assyrians/Egyptians did]
      1. Not necessarily in all cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common. [i.e. to watch over a Kings Harem]
        1. Esther 2:3 “let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women.”
      2. The Law of Moses excluded them from the congregation [Deut. 23:1]
        1. “He who is emasculated by crushing or mutilation shall not enter the assembly of the LORD.”
        2. Yet in the Millennium these will also enter into blessing.
      3. Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
        1. “For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men(emasculated); and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.”
      4. This would be significant for the children of Israel coming back from Babylon where many would have suffered sexual mutilation in this way.
      5. Regarding those “made that way” in a sense is sexual abuse!
        1. So how can we encourage those in our day who have been abused sexually? [often that’s what they know, & don’t know how to get out of it]
        2. Vs,4,5 – “choose what pleases me!”
    5. (5b) This promises those w/no family of their own, to discover another family. (The NT concept of the body of Christ, the Church)
    6. ALIEN’S! (3a; 6-8)
    7. The Alien was & is to be welcomed!
      1. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Emma Lazarus
      2. This is a vision of outreach never lost in the OT, but tragically forgotten in many periods of Israel’s history. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.176)
        1. Even more sad…in our own church history.
      3. And when outreach is done, it is often an over-zealous recruitment! – That would probably often deserve the rebuke in Mt.23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
        1. What were they doing that was so bad? – They were imposing external restrictions of Rabbinic traditions on their converts. – We do the same when we add one jot or title of our traditions & make them requirements.
        2. Evangelizism is the art of bringing people to Jesus, not to your brand of Christianity!
    8. (7) [Read Mark 11:17] Robbers in God’s Living Room!
      1. Q: A “Den of Thieves” is what? - A place where thieves hide after they’ve committed their crimes.
      2. The Jews were using the temple ceremonies to cover up their secret sins.
      3. Instead of being made holy in the Temple; The people were making the Temple Unholy!
      4. It’s not living like a Christian through the week, but faithfully showing up to church on Sundays!
      5. “The Temple can only give sanctuary…AS a Sanctuary!” Derek Kidner
        1. When man takes over…God leaves.
    9. Note this Progression of Digression:
    10. [1] Mt.21:13(My house) “My house shall be called a house of prayer,”
    11. [2] Mt.23:38 (your house) "See! Your house is left to you desolate”
    12. [3] Mt.24:2(No house) “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
      1. My house, Your house, No house!
      2. Jesse James killed a fellow in a bank robbery and shortly thereafter was baptized in the Kearney Baptist Church. - Then he killed another man, a bank cashier, and joined the church choir and taught hymn-singing. - He liked Sundays, Jesse did, but he couldn't always show up at church…on two Sundays, he robbed trains!
      3. Q: Do we as church members flee to church on Sundays in an attempt to cover up our sins? – Q: Do we “go to church” in order tomaintain our reputation, or to worship & glorify God? - Q: If Jesus showed up today in our church what changes would he make? - Q: If Jesus showed up today in our personal temple(body) what changes would he make?
    13. Jesus has become big business in our day!
      1. Many making money in the name of Jesus. (Be careful what you support!)
    14. Jesus shows us how important corporate worship is. It must be authentic & from the heart!
      1. Definition of worship by Archbishop William Temple “to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind w/the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
    15. In the Lord’s service & worship there is to be unity across all nationalities. (Ibid; pg.177)
      1. The house of prayer for ALL nations!
      2. Q: Are some people more welcome than others? (Homosexuals?) 2.10.2.1. I was so humbled at our Men’s Retreat (Adam & Steve joke).
      3. Q: Are all repentant people welcomed in our church?
    16. So maybe a great NT example that fit into both of these 2 categories would be the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8!
      1. The “outcastforeigner is accepted! - The eunuch is welcomed!
    17. Joyful in my house of prayer!
      1. Lord, bring us to Your Holy Mountain & make us joyful when we pray! (I hate mean spirited prayers!)
    18. (8) Others - “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
    19. IRRESPONSIBLE LEADERS! (9-12)
    20. The beasts (the Gentile powers) come to devour the sinful nation (Israel).
    21. How to set a poor example!
      1. Here we have the bankrupt leadership of the nation.
      2. Blind Watchmen – that fail to watch.
        1. Security Guards hanging out at the local AM/PM instead of watching the housing track assigned to them.
      3. Bark-less Dogs – that failed to bark.
        1. Bark-less, lazy, & greedy watchdogs.
        2. You wouldn’t have them guard your junk yard!
        3. They refused to bark when they saw the spiritual intruders destroying the spiritual house.
        4. They loved to lie around & dream & sleep, failing to alert the nation about their spiritual disaster.
        5. They were more interested in their dog bowl than Doc-trine!
      4. Selfish-Shepherds – that failed to watch over the sheep.
        1. He was only concerned with looking after himself.
        2. So preoccupied with Self-interest. Self-indulgent.
      5. These “leaders” had no vision, no message, were escapist, & self-pleasers!
        1. No wonder they went into captivity!
        2. What a warning to spiritual leaders today!
    22. (12) Their motto: “Drink, drink, & be merry, for tomorrow night we’ll part again!”
    23. Contemporary Application:
      1. A challenge to the watchful, prayerful life of every believer w/in the church. (& esp. to leaders)
        1. Q: What does the call to be a faithful watchman say about the consistency of your own prayer life?
      2. A church with an inward focus!
    24. Pray for:
      1. Foreigners – Sexually abused – Joyful prayer Life – Good Leaders – Faithful Watchmen – in prayer.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 56". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-56.html. 2017.