Sermon for Sunday August 20, 2023
Isaiah 56:1 1 Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. . . .
While in the Babylonian captivity, Isaiah encourages His people to obey God, follow His precepts, and uphold His laws. The encouragement comes when Isaiah says that God’s salvation will indeed come. And not just salvation but His deliverance will be revealed. A deliverance we understand, but unfortunately some Jews did not.
Indeed, the Jews thought that God was theirs alone as if they chose Him. I’m not sure if they felt that they had chosen God or that they might feel special because they knew and felt that God chose them to be His people. However, they felt, God’s plan was to destroy their earthly enemies, not to save them from their spiritual enemies. However, they will find out when God’s salvation is born on earth and His deliverance walks the paths of mankind.
God created all of mankind through Adam and Eve and filtered all modern mankind through the flood and the family of Noah. We are His creation, and we are constantly being purified through His word and Holy Spirit. That is those who follow, believe, and keep faith with our creator and His Son Jesus Christ Lord, God, and Savior.
Yet as Christians we too cop an attitude from our gift that God chose us. We have lost the understanding of this great gift, and we are reluctant to share this great gift as were the Jews. The Jews did not want to share their great gift of being the first chosen. Another reason the world needs a savior.
Matthew 15:25–28 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
We can read these verses and pick out the attitude of the Jews from the way Jesus spoke to this lady. Jesus used an analogy implying those who were not Jews then were dogs begging at the dinner table. This would seem harsh, but Jesus had let it be known He came for the people of Israel. This too would seem harsh, but if we look at God’s plan, it should seem prudent to get one’s house in order before letting others in. That is to say Jesus was the last try to unite the Jews to Him.
The bread? God’s word, and Jesus Christ the bread of life. Those who believe will be fed the bread of life and those who do not believe will be the begging dogs at the table. The dogs care for nothing more than to have what their master has as if it were owed to them.
But in saying dogs beg for what their master has, is also to say that the dogs also want the love of their master. Anita and I see this as we scold our Annie dog, and she comes up afterwards and kisses us as if she is saying she is sorry. Thus, the woman speaks of the dogs looking for the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. The woman also recognized the savior before her, the true master, who gives us the bread of life.
Isaiah 56:6a 6“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants,
What better way to serve the Lord than to recognize that He is the savior, He is our Lord. The woman showed her faith not as to present her faith to Jesus but that it exuded from her. We can have our faith emanate from us by showing our love for Jesus Christ through love and servitude to the Father and to others.
This woman came to serve her daughter by asking the one who has the true healing power, Jesus Christ. She believed this to be true, that Jesus could heal. Not by hearsay, but by faith. How could this be that a non-Jew could have faith?
Jesus Christ is written on all our hearts. The fruit of the vine is ready. The vine continues to grow, its branches are reaching the many that will eat of the fruit of the vine, the fruit is the word of God, and the church grows to all nations.
Isaiah 56:6b–7a 6beveryone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— 7these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar;
Those who have and exude sincere faith, those who worship and know our God is Holy, and those who do not try to change or mutilate God’s word. These will be the people that God will call to His mountain, His dwelling place, His heaven. And we will be joyful for we know we have a God who loves us and recognizes our true love for Him.
Joyful in His house of prayer! We can find joy in praying because God finds joy in that we pray to Him our Father in heaven. What joy it is to pray and what joy it is to know our prayers are answered. Let us pray together that our joy may be multiplied by our God who loves us and wants to listen to our prayers. God listens not to just our words, but our hearts and desires too.
For this we pray that our offerings will always be worthy to be placed on the altar of God. When we realize that God offered His only begotten Son on the altar of the cross to us, we might joyfully offer to God our lives, our tithes, our love, and our sincerity.
Isaiah 56:7b–8 7for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” 8The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”
Praise God for we come into His house that He prepared for us. God’s house that was given to us through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s house of prayer where we can confess our sins and know Jesus Christ died so that we are forgiven. God’s house where our pains, sorrows, and sins will be taken away through the resurrection and clothing in His righteousness, the works of our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s house where we will live for all eternity as we share in Christ’s inheritance, eternal life, and everlasting relationship with our Lord in His Joy. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis May (with the help of God)