How amazing the acceptance and unconditional love of God is! Long ago, in the times of the prophet Isaiah, God’s message was that His heart was always for relationship to all His creation. It had been the case that no foreigners could eat the Passover meal with God’s chosen people (Exodus 12:43 ) and no eunuch could enter the assembly of God’s people (Deuteronomy 23:1), but then Isaiah had the clear message that a way was being made for foreigners and eunuchs who wanted to come to the true and living God.
Now the foreigner didn’t need to fear God’s rejection if he wanted to join himself to the Lord. And the eunuch could receive an eternal place with God that is better than producing physical descendants. The restrictions no longer applied. ‘The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered” (Isaiah 56:8).
What did the foreigners and eunuchs have to do to qualify for God’s blessings? The same as God’s chosen people. They had to ‘join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants’, and they had to keep the Sabbath, not profane it, and hold fast God’s covenant’ (Isaiah 56:6). It becomes clear that keeping the Sabbath was not just an outward show of refraining from daily work but a heart attitude of trying to do what pleases the Lord and hating the evil He hates.
The Lord Jesus confirmed this message from Isaiah when He cleansed the temple from wrongdoing and evil and reminded them of Isaiah’s message. ‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers’ (Mark 11:17).
Prayer: Lord, we want to come into Your holy presence and worship You together with the congregation of the saints. We pray that we won’t grieve You by profaning Your day of worship by any evil. We want to please You by making Your house a house of prayer for all the nations. Amen.
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