We are in the Prophetic Stream as we read from the Lexham English Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
55-56 God is talking and it is soothing for this first 21 verses. All of 55 and the first eight verses of ch. 56 is about the work of God expanding and blessing and feeding and watering and including and welcoming more to himself. People are so satisfied and God is shepherding and elevating and assuring. The whole world is invited to come; to come be cared for and ministered to the way God has been reaching out to the Hebrews since Abraham’s day.
56:9 ff – from here to the end of today’s reading, the boom gets lowered and God is giving some of His final warnings. It isn’t pretty stuff, and God will avenge upon those who are playing the Joker in God’s face. Have you ever seen a kid, a teenager per se~ who was raised in a well-to-do family. As has been said about what can happen to these types (especially the unmentored), they were born in the palace, so they think they own the place though they’ve done nothing constructive from their beginning. Well the leadership in Jerusalem is thinking they are blessed regardless and since they have the “inside track” to God, they can bend His rules as they please and God is just going to let this arrogance slide forever. Well He isn’t. God is going to cut loose on these men soon. They are blind, ignorant, selfish, stupid, gluttonous, and partying like plastered college sophomores and could not care less about anything; oblivious as well as careless.
57 – By this time Isaiah is calling everything what it is and Israel is acting no different than the pagans, heathens, the godless and satanic people all around them. Even child sacrifice is going on! for shame! Their behavior is approaching the bottom if not there already and it’s been there awhile. It’s nauseating to even mention what is going on. The sin is generational by now and many don’t remember anything different, they don’t know anything is wrong. Trying to point things out to these people is like lecturing skunks about bad odors. Prostitution is rampant and soon there will be nothing left before long. Even with all this, God will receive back those who will repent . . . When will He have had enough and just smash the place ? wow.
58 – What’s going on is corrupted justice, manipulation of the people, “cherry-picking” through the Law and obeying what makes them merely feel holy and having no actual concern for holiness. God is pointing out their injustice, the brutalizing of each other, the judgmentalism. God is ordering them to stop this. He wants them to come back to Him. He wants to bless them. They still aren’t letting God love them however. They seem to prefer to love themselves [as if they even knew how to!]. They’re singing “i’ll do it my way”
59 – This is the final chapter of this run; this litany of horrid problems with God’s people. Again God is well into a monologue of accusation: There’s blood on their hands, their feet chase evil, their thoughts are all wrong, there’s no justice, and the sinning is endless. God still has a plan for His nation and it is a good one. He is going to send a Redeemer to those who will come to Him and turn from sin.
God we can ask, “how can you keep loving these people?” And yet you do. How can you and why do you keep reaching out to us? It’s better that we just say thank you and not question you. And so we thank you for loving us as we are and yet loving us too much to not Redeem us to better living and better service to you. Thank you Lord. Amen.