Isaiah 56: Keep Justice and Do What Is Right!

(12 verses, 2:20 to read)


What I am about to READ

Keep justice and do what is right; God’s salvation is close at hand! And God’s salvation is open to all people!


1-2: The Lord encourages the Israelites to continue serving Him as they await His salvation. It may seem like God is now putting a condition on His salvation, but no more than when He urges us to live lives worthy of our calling as His people until He returns in glory. Based on God’s gracious promises, He urges His people to stay awake and be ready.

3-8: A eunuch was one “whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off” (Deuteronomy 23:1); a foreigner was a member of a nation other than Israel. Although there was a clear distinction between Jew and Gentile in the Old Testament (the Gentiles never had the same worship rights as the Jews), the Lord assures outcasts such as eunuchs and foreigners that they will not be excluded from the blessings He has provided though His great servant, Jesus. (See John 10:16.) These outcasts under the law no longer remain as outcasts from God’s people because of the promises God has made in Christ. In Him the law has been fulfilled. So the distinction between Jews and foreigners, between whole and disfigured, has been done away with. (Check out Ephesians 2:9–22 in you feel so inclined)

7: Jesus quotes verse 7 in Mark 11:17. Jewish people were making it difficult for the Gentiles to worship the Lord. In fact, they were using the courts of the Gentiles (which should have been set aside for gentile worship) for their cattle stalls and money-changing booths. Jesus is teaching us that this prophecy of Isaiah’s had begun to be fulfilled.

9-12: God’s description of Israel’s hypocritical spiritual leaders. Contrast these “leaders” with the foreigners and eunuchs described in verses 1–8! The religious leaders were selfish and self-absorbed; the foreign believers were God-focused. The religious leaders who claimed to “see” were blind, while the foreigners “saw” and understood. Those who were supposed to shepherd lack understanding, while those who were supposed to be without understanding understood what it meant to keep the Lord’s Sabbaths.


Read verses 1-2.

From Luther’s Small Catechism:

The Third Commandment:  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

In addition to attending church on Sunday mornings, we keep the Sabbath each and every day of the week by reflecting on our Lord’s word, by opening our Bibles and reading about the rest He has given us in Christ, by worshiping Him not out of a sense of obligation but because we love Him, and by living in the hope we have in His free grace. In short, we keep the Sabbath by resting in our Lord Jesus.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.



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