Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 13, Isaiah 56&57, Revelation 21&22

            What a challenging mixture of Divine messages we have in today’s readings – but this is usually the case, this is why we find reading God’s word so meaningful – and challenging.

            Isaiah is told (56 v.1) “Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed.”  This is “soon” in time as God sees it, as we also see today in Rev. 22 v.7.  But we sense this will “soon” be time as we see it today! Our increasingly godless world cannot continue as it is much longer!  

            Verse 2 in Isaiah 56 says of God’s “righteousness” – “Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast.”   Jesus was the ultimate “Son of man” (e.g. Matt. 26 v.2, 24, 45, 64) and has set us the ultimate example of holding fast to “righteousness.” They are the ones (Isa. 56 v,4) “who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant”  and as a result “I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” [v.5]

            In verse 6 and 7 we learn that ”foreigners (not just Jews) who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who … holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer … for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”  

                These words are taken up by the Lord Jesus who said, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? [Mark 11 v.17] How “joyful” will be that time! It will be the ultimate time “when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” [John 4 v.23] – for those who have held “fast” to God’s “covenant”  –  the Lord will “make them joyful in my house of prayer “