Isaiah 56-58: Conviction for Healing
September 22, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
There is blessing on offer in Isaiah 56, along with command, “keep justice” (56:1), and promise for “an everlasting name that shall not be cut off” (56:5). But Israel’s leaders are irresponsible—they are “blind” and “without knowledge” (56:10). They are drunkards, “let us fill ourselves with strong drink” (56:12).
In fact, there are signs of their difficulties: “the righteous man perishes” (57:1). Sometimes godly people are taken through death to eternal life to save them from the calamity of the situation around them. The wicked of Israel had been debaucherous and practiced infanticide (57:5)—unwanted babies are a natural result of flagrant immorality. They have kept on with this, not let it weary them; they were not “faint” (57:10). But their “idols” (57:13) will not deliver them. The way of God is different.
“I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit” (Isaiah 57:15).
God’s people’s sin must be made clear, but God plans to rouse them to repentance so that:
“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily” (Isaiah 58:8).
And the result of this return to the Lord is fresh delight and joy:
“then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth” (Isaiah 58:14).
We often confuse being clear about people’s sin with being “negative” or “nasty.” Instead, the purpose of conviction—like a good diagnosis—is to lead to healing. What is there that you need to confess this morning that God’s “light” might break forth upon you again?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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