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Isaiah 56:1-12

Friday, 11 November 2022

The LORD God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him.” -Isaiah 56: 8

The deepest desire of every human heart is to be loved and accepted just as we are. But in this fallen world that we live in we realize how often we are rejected because of our race, creed, colour, abilities and socio-economic standings. So many of us go through life with such pain, because of this rejection. There was a time in history when man thought that even God did not consider him. That God was an exclusive God – A God only for the Jews. But that was not true. He was working out a plan for the salvation of mankind through this group of people that we the Gentiles would be accepted by Him so that we would no longer be outcasts.

As we meditate today’s reading we will see how God, centuries ago planned his work of salvation thinking of you and me (V.1). The God of creation set things right. He did not turn His back on us.

What did He do for us?

From foreigner to family [Vs.3 & 8]: In Exodus 12:45, we read how foreigners living with the Israelites were excluded from partaking in the Passover meal. They had no privileges as the children of Israel because they did not carry on their body the covenant of God – circumcision. That’s why Paul in Eph. 2:11 highlights this point when he talks to us saying that, formerly all of us were Gentiles by birth and called the uncircumcised by the ones who were circumcised. But the good news is –God himself worked out our salvation. Paul goes on to say that we have been brought near to God through Christ. Eph.2:12 -13 says: “…that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Today you and I are no longer foreigners to the covenant, but children of God (John 1:12). The choice is ours if we are to remain an ‘OUTCAST’ or become an ‘INSIDER.’

From dishonour to honour [Vs 3&5]: It’s such a cruel world to live in as a disabled. They are ridiculed, labeled, called names, that they end up living lonely and hopeless lives. In Deut.23:1, the law prevented a eunuch from entering the house of God because of his disability. But when grace appeared, it changed our position. No one is denied God’s grace on any account. God proves it when he takes Philip from an effective public ministry to an Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8) to explain to him what grace was all about. He was not denied anything that God had to offer him because of his physical disability but rather because of his decision that day, his name was written in the book of life (V.5).

The deep scar that sin once left on us could not allow us to ever enter God’s presence. Yes, we could never do it on our terms. But when His kindness appeared, He saved us and wiped our slate clean (Titus 3:4&5; Col 2:14). On the cross there was a great exchange. We are accepted in Christ! He took our ashes and gave us His beauty (Isaiah 61:3). Is this what the world sees in each of us today?

Quote for the day: The rejection of man is meaningless, if God’s favour is upon you.”-Bob Sorge

Listen: 'I’m Accepted '



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