Isaiah 56:1
This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for My salvation is coming soon, and My righteousness will be revealed.
God's Mercy and Man's DutyIsaiah 56:1
God's Nearness a PleaR. Tuck Isaiah 56:1
Privilege and ResponsibilityF. A. Alexander.Isaiah 56:1
Reformation the Precursor of RegenerationH. Melvill, B. D.Isaiah 56:1
The Attitude of Holy ExpectationW. Clarkson Isaiah 56:1
The True Observance of the SabbathE. Johnson Isaiah 56:1-8

Foreign converts are commended for their observance of the sabbath, and promised an appropriate reward. The day was more strictly observed during the Babylonian and Persian periods (Jeremiah 17:19-27; Ezekiel 20:11-21; Ezekiel 22:8, 26; Nehemiah 13:15-22; cf. 2 Kings 11:11-16 with 1 Macc. 2:32-38). Its estimation rose with the estimation of prayer (Cheyne).

I. THE DUTY OF OBEDIENCE. The Law is "the objective rule of life, the Law of Jehovah." Or, with others, "equity, justice." And the "practice of righteousness" is ever a necessity with him. The more so as every serious crisis draws on. My salvation is near - the kingdom of heaven is at hand. A crisis means a time of sifting and separation. "God's salvation is not indiscriminate. And the grounds on which he distinguishes his people from his enemies are not external, but internal. It is the Israel within Israel, the spiritual circumcision, the holy seed, that he acknowledges, vindicates, rescues, glorifies" (Cheyne).

II. SABBATH-KEEPING AS AN EXPRESSION OF OBEDIENCE. How significant the sabbath in the institutions of Judaism! True, the seventh day belonged also to Babylonian religion, but we know its beauty and its blessing through the Jews. It was a sign of the great standing covenant between God and the nation (Exodus 31:13-17). By this the Jews were marked as a nation. Narrow notions, Puritan superstitions, have gathered about the sabbath; still, the idea of it is very beautiful. Ewald brings it under the idea of sacrifice of time. It is the representative of the duties of the first table (Ezekiel 20:11-21). But mere sabbath-keeping avails not without the honest heart and the upright life - the man must "keep his hand from evil."

III. THE BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE UNIVERSAL. The prophet would remove a misunderstanding. The beatitude is universally applicable to those who keep God's commandments. The foreigner might be anxious about his position in the spiritual commonwealth. For there were exclusive injunctions directed against him (Deuteronomy 23:4-7). During the Captivity probably an exclusive spirit was growing; it may be observed in the restored exiles (Nehemiah 13.). They are here assured that they shall be admitted to the spiritual commonwealth on an equal footing with the Jews. National barriers are broken down before the new expansive spirit of love. There was also a law against eunuchs (Deuteronomy 23:2). But this disability is also to be removed. This class of men may stand for the outcast and degraded in general. They are to be admitted to communion, and are to receive some "trophy and monument" (1 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 18:18) in the temple itself - provided they have been faithful to the commands and covenant of Jehovah. Probably a spiritual and everlasting memorial is meant (cf. Revelation 3:12; Matthew 26:13). Then the foreign proselytes who should

(1) join them to the Lord,

(2) with intent to serve him,

(3) and who should love the Name of the Lord,

(4) who should be his servants,

(5) who should keep his sabbaths,

(6) and take hold of his covenant, were to be admitted to all the privileges of the chosen people.

The same terms of salvation were to be applicable to all. In 1 Kings 8:41-43 Solomon prays that God should do "according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for." In Psalm 135:19, 20 the proselytes are called to bless Jehovah, after the house of Israel, of Aaron, of Levi.

IV. THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOUSE OF PRAYER. All shall be brought to God's holy mountain - shall be admitted to the one sacred fellowship. They shall be made joyful by the revelation of the Shechinah - the presence of the Eternal in his power and mercy. Their offerings (those of the proselytes) shall be accepted on his altar. There should be no invidious distinctions. The house should be a "house of prayer to all peoples" (cf. Matthew 21:13). Moreover, other nations, not now of Israel, would be united to the one spiritual stock. The exiles in distant lands would be gathered; also other Gentiles of whom the proselytes are the firstfruits - "other sheep not of this flock" (John 10:16) - and they will become fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). The race - "on a level with respect to moral character, all having sinned and come short of the glory of God - is on a level with respect to redemption; the same Saviour died for all, the same Spirit is ready to sanctify all. The wide world may be saved, and there is not one of the human race so degraded in human estimation by rank, or colour, or ignorance, who may not be admitted to the same heaven with Abraham and the prophets, and whose prayers and praises may not be as acceptable to God as those of the most magnificent monarch who ever wore a crown." - J.

Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment.
The doctrine of the passage is simply this, that they who enjoy extraordinary privileges, or expect extraordinary favours, are under corresponding obligations to do the will of God; and, moreover, that the nearer the manifestation of God's mercy, whether in time or eternity, the louder the call to righteousness of life. These truths are of no restricted application, but may be applied wherever the relation of a Church or chosen people can be recognized.

(F. A. Alexander.)

When God is coming towards us in a way of mercy, we must go forth to meet Him in a way of duty.

( M. Henry.)

God does not demand of a man, when He sends to him the gracious announcement of the Gospel, that he should change his heart, in order to his having a share in His proffered mercy. He does not say to him, You are now a disloyal subject, and before you can have an interest in the blood of My Son, I require you to become loyal. But He does require that he should set himself to the giving up the overt acts of disloyalty. He sends the tidings of a flee pardon to His alienated subjects, but He bids them, as it were, get ready for its reception. "Keep ye judgment, and do justice," etc. The manner in which the doctrines of Scripture are oftentimes propounded has a distinct tendency to repress men's energies, or to give them an altogether wrong direction. The Bible addresses itself unreservedly to sinners, as though they had a moral power of action, for which they were, in the largest sense, accountable, and through which they might make some progress towards deliverance. Hence, it calls on the wicked to forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and to turn unto the Lord. It bids them cease to do evil, and learn to do well; it clearly demands a preparatory reformation, and such an attention to the conduct as shall, in some sense, make way for the free pardon of the Gospel.

I. SHOW WHAT LIES WITHIN THE POWER OF THE UNCONVERTED; AND WHAT, THEREFORE, THEY ARE BOUND TO DO IF THEY HOPE FOR, CONVERSION. We apply this direction to the case of every individual, whatever his station in society; and we consider it as requiring of him a more diligent attention to the duties of that station, as preliminary to his obtaining a single share in the mercies of redemption. If he be living in any known sin, let him renounce it. God's Spirit, so to speak, is scared away by his intemperance, his lust, his uncontrolled tempers, and if he would hope for visitation from this Spirit, let him strive to sweep the chamber, and to garnish it for its reception.

II. THE PERFECT HARMONY OF THESE STATEMENTS WITH THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE. We are accustomed to preach to you the insufficiency of works, in helping forward that justification which is purely of faith; and now we seem to teach the vast importance of works, and those, too, works wrought by mere human strength, as distinctly instrumental to human salvation.

1. The throwing of a man upon certain resources which we hold him to possess, is not representing him as able to advance one step without God. It is God's own appointment that we should use the strength which we have, before more is imparted; and since we only teach submission to this appointment, there can be nothing of interference with the freeness of grace.

2. Our representation of the duties of the unconverted, if they desire conversion, must be correct, inasmuch as it is formed altogether on a Scriptural model. We refer you to the preaching of John the Baptist, as furnishing this model.

3. There is a difficult passage in the history of our Lord's ministrations, which can only be explained on the supposed truth of what we have advanced. When the young man came to Jesus, and demanded what good thing he must do that he might have eternal life, the Saviour replied, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

4. We admit that, if a man reform his life under the idea that the reform is meritorious, he may possibly be no nearer conversion i but if he attempt to reform, simply as a preliminary, he shall, surely, be thereby brought unto greater fitness for the reception of grace; and yet the grace when it comes shall have lost none of its characteristics, but still be grace the very freest and the most undeserved.

5. Again, salvation is a thing of faith, not of works. The very desire after conversion pre-supposes faith. If a man do not believe in the coming wrath, he can have no wish for a change that is to secure him against the outbreak of that wrath i and in exhorting him unto an immediate fighting against sin, we exhort him to bring his faith into practice.

6. The individual who goes out into the arena of life and makes an effort in his own strength to overthrow evil, will be a hundredfold better taught the moral decrepitude of man, by the little progress that he makes, or the defeat that he sustains, than another who sits down in his closet and seeks to ascertain his native insufficiency by throwing his power into a balance, or computing it by a process of mathematical calculation.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Behaviour, Close, Deliverance, Favour, Judgment, Justice, Maintain, Ordered, Preserve, Quickly, Revealed, Righteousness, Rightly, Salvation, Says, Thus, Upright
1. The prophet exhorts to sanctification
3. He promises it shall be general, without respect of persons
9. He protests against blind watchmen

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 56:1

     1075   God, justice of
     1403   God, revelation
     5361   justice, human
     8135   knowing God, nature of
     8158   righteousness, of believers
     8243   ethics, social
     8315   orthodoxy, in OT

Isaiah 56:1-2

     5874   happiness
     8245   ethics, incentives

We Sure of To-Morrow? a New Year's Sermon
'To-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.'--ISAIAH lvi. 12. These words, as they stand, are the call of boon companions to new revelry. They are part of the prophet's picture of a corrupt age when the men of influence and position had thrown away their sense of duty, and had given themselves over, as aristocracies and plutocracies are ever tempted to do, to mere luxury and good living. They are summoning one another to their coarse orgies. The roystering speaker says, 'Do not be afraid
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Concerning the Sacrament of Baptism
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to the riches of His mercy has at least preserved this one sacrament in His Church uninjured and uncontaminated by the devices of men, and has made it free to all nations and to men of every class. He has not suffered it to be overwhelmed with the foul and impious monstrosities of avarice and superstition; doubtless having this purpose, that He would have little children, incapable of avarice and superstition, to be initiated into
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Nor Indeed Hath the Holy Spirit Failed to Speak what Should be of Open...
25. Nor indeed hath the Holy Spirit failed to speak what should be of open and unshaken avail against these men, most shamelessly and madly obstinate, and should repel their assault, as of wild beasts, from His sheep-fold, by defences that may not be stormed. For, after He had said concerning eunuchs, "I will give unto them in My house and in My wall a named place, much better than of sons and daughters;" [2069] lest any too carnal should think that there was any thing temporal to be hoped for in
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

The House of Prayer. --Isaiah Lvi. 7
The House of Prayer.--Isaiah lvi. 7. "My House shall be an House of Prayer For all that live, to worship there:" Thus saith the Lord:--how answer we? "Thine House, our House of Prayer shall be." "Wherever I my Name record, There will I meet Thee," saith the Lord; Thee in Thine House of Prayer we meet; Now bless us from the Mercy-seat. Thus spake the Lord--"My Son, to Thee Swear every tongue, bow every knee:" Father, by us Thy will be done, We bow the knee and "Kiss the Son." His throne and kingdom
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

Lastly, Let us Hear the Lord Himself Delivering Most Plain Judgment on this Matter. ...
23. Lastly, let us hear the Lord Himself delivering most plain judgment on this matter. For, upon His speaking after a divine and fearful manner concerning husband and wife not separating, save on account of fornication, His disciples said to Him, "If the case be such with a wife, it is not good to marry." [2066] To whom He saith, "Not all receive this saying. For there are eunuchs who were so born: but there are others who were made by men: and there are eunuchs, who made themselves eunuchs for
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

That the Ruler Should be Discreet in Keeping Silence, Profitable in Speech.
The ruler should be discreet in keeping silence, profitable in speech; lest he either utter what ought to be suppressed or suppress what he ought to utter. For, as incautious speaking leads into error, so indiscreet silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed. For often improvident rulers, fearing to lose human favour, shrink timidly from speaking freely the things that are right; and, according to the voice of the Truth (Joh. x. 12), serve unto the custody of the flock by no means
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

That the Unskilful Venture not to Approach an Office of Authority.
No one presumes to teach an art till he has first, with intent meditation, learnt it. What rashness is it, then, for the unskilful to assume pastoral authority, since the government of souls is the art of arts! For who can be ignorant that the sores of the thoughts of men are more occult than the sores of the bowels? And yet how often do men who have no knowledge whatever of spiritual precepts fearlessly profess themselves physicians of the heart, though those who are ignorant of the effect of
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The History of the Prophetic Sermons, Epistles, and Apocalypses
[Sidenote: Real character and aims of the prophets] To understand and rightly interpret the prophetic writings of the Old Testament it is necessary to cast aside a false impression as to the character of the prophets which is widely prevalent. They were not foretellers, but forth-tellers. Instead of being vague dreamers, in imagination living far in the distant future, they were most emphatically men of their own times, enlightened and devoted patriots, social and ethical reformers, and spiritual
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

How those are to be Admonished who have had Experience of the Sins of the Flesh, and those who have Not.
(Admonition 29.) Differently to be admonished are those who are conscious of sins of the flesh, and those who know them not. For those who have had experience of the sins of the flesh are to be admonished that, at any rate after shipwreck, they should fear the sea, and feel horror at their risk of perdition at least when it has become known to them; lest, having been mercifully preserved after evil deeds committed, by wickedly repeating the same they die. Whence to the soul that sins and never
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

"And if Christ be in You, the Body is Dead Because of Sin; but the Spirit is Life Because of Righteousness. "
Rom. viii. 10.--"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." God's presence is his working. His presence in a soul by his Spirit is his working in such a soul in some special manner, not common to all men, but peculiar to them whom he hath chosen. Now his dwelling is nothing else but a continued, familiar and endless working in a soul, till he hath conformed all within to the image of his Son. The soul is the office house, or workhouse,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Covenanting Confers Obligation.
As it has been shown that all duty, and that alone, ought to be vowed to God in covenant, it is manifest that what is lawfully engaged to in swearing by the name of God is enjoined in the moral law, and, because of the authority of that law, ought to be performed as a duty. But it is now to be proved that what is promised to God by vow or oath, ought to be performed also because of the act of Covenanting. The performance of that exercise is commanded, and the same law which enjoins that the duties
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Ye Also who have not yet Made this Vow...
30. Ye also who have not yet made this vow, who are able to receive it, receive it. [2093] Run with perseverance, that ye may obtain. [2094] Take ye each his sacrifices, and enter ye into the courts [2095] of the Lord, not of necessity, having power over your own will. [2096] For not as, "Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not kill," [2097] can it so be said, Thou shalt not wed. The former are demanded, the latter are offered. If the latter are done, they are praised: unless the former are
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

The Cavils of the Pharisees Concerning Purification, and the Teaching of the Lord Concerning Purity - the Traditions Concerning Hand-Washing' and Vows. '
As we follow the narrative, confirmatory evidence of what had preceded springs up at almost every step. It is quite in accordance with the abrupt departure of Jesus from Capernaum, and its motives, that when, so far from finding rest and privacy at Bethsaida (east of the Jordan), a greater multitude than ever had there gathered around Him, which would fain have proclaimed Him King, He resolved on immediate return to the western shore, with the view of seeking a quieter retreat, even though it were
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Barren Fig-Tree. Temple Cleansed.
(Road from Bethany and Jerusalem. Monday, April 4, a.d. 30.) ^A Matt. XXI. 18, 19, 12, 13; ^B Mark XI. 12-18; ^C Luke XIX. 45-48. ^b 12 And ^a 18 Now ^b on the morrow [on the Monday following the triumphal entry], ^a in the morning ^b when they were come out from Bethany, ^a as he returned to the city [Jerusalem], he hungered. [Breakfast with the Jews came late in the forenoon, and these closing days of our Lord's ministry were full of activity that did not have time to tarry at Bethany for it. Our
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Manner of Covenanting.
Previous to an examination of the manner of engaging in the exercise of Covenanting, the consideration of God's procedure towards his people while performing the service seems to claim regard. Of the manner in which the great Supreme as God acts, as well as of Himself, our knowledge is limited. Yet though even of the effects on creatures of His doings we know little, we have reason to rejoice that, in His word He has informed us, and in His providence illustrated by that word, he has given us to
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Covenanting Adapted to the Moral Constitution of Man.
The law of God originates in his nature, but the attributes of his creatures are due to his sovereignty. The former is, accordingly, to be viewed as necessarily obligatory on the moral subjects of his government, and the latter--which are all consistent with the holiness of the Divine nature, are to be considered as called into exercise according to his appointment. Hence, also, the law of God is independent of his creatures, though made known on their account; but the operation of their attributes
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

'As many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.' John 1:12. Having spoken of the great points of faith and justification, we come next to adoption. The qualification of the persons is, As many as received him.' Receiving is put for believing, as is clear by the last words, to them that believe in his name.' The specification of the privilege is, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.' The Greek word for power, exousia, signifies
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

An Appendix to the Beatitudes
His commandments are not grievous 1 John 5:3 You have seen what Christ calls for poverty of spirit, pureness of heart, meekness, mercifulness, cheerfulness in suffering persecution, etc. Now that none may hesitate or be troubled at these commands of Christ, I thought good (as a closure to the former discourse) to take off the surmises and prejudices in men's spirits by this sweet, mollifying Scripture, His commandments are not grievous.' The censuring world objects against religion that it is difficult
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The rule of obedience being the moral law, comprehended in the Ten Commandments, the next question is: What is the sum of the Ten Commandments? The sum of the Ten Commandments is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.' Deut 6: 5. The duty called for is love, yea, the strength of love, with all
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Ten Reasons Demonstrating the Commandment of the Sabbath to be Moral.
1. Because all the reasons of this commandment are moral and perpetual; and God has bound us to the obedience of this commandment with more forcible reasons than to any of the rest--First, because he foresaw that irreligious men would either more carelessly neglect, or more boldly break this commandment than any other; secondly, because that in the practice of this commandment the keeping of all the other consists; which makes God so often complain that all his worship is neglected or overthrown,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

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