Isaiah 56, 1-2
Something to read
The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey
Thus says the Lord:
Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed.
Happy is the mortal who does this,
the one who holds it fast,
who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,
and refrains from doing any evil.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
As we look at these verses from Isaiah 56 we discover that we are being urged by God to live a life that is righteous. In other words, we are being asked to do the things that God has revealed to us through Scripture as being the right way to live - to do good things and love others.
The problem with this, however, is that we find, as we look at the world around us, that we don’t have to look too far before we recognise that the world doesn’t always do what is right. Likewise, we also have to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we, too, fall under this category of people who don’t always do what is right.
How often do we see somebody in need and do nothing? How often do we say things to our loved ones in anger and cause hurt?
Unfortunately, we as human beings don’t always do what is right and loving but sometimes act in our own best interest. This passage is challenging us to change this cycle of behaviour.
But there is hope for us! Of course God wants us to do what is right and this is true. Likewise, we should do our best to follow the word of God and love our neighbour as ourselves, putting other people’s needs before our own at times.
However, God knew that we would constantly do wrong. He knew that we would mess things up, yet He still loved us enough to die for us in the person of Jesus, to rise again and make it possible for us to be forgiven.
So, take heart. God offers us mercy and forgiveness for the times we don’t make the required standard. Nevertheless, we must remember that just because we are offered forgiveness, it doesn’t mean that we have the right to abuse it. So let us do our best to live in a way that is pleasing to God.
Something to do
Take some time today to think about your average day and the people you meet and what ways you react to people in need or the people you know.
Something to pray
Dear God, I am sorry for the times when I do not live up to your standards on how to treat others, please forgive me. But I thank you God that you love me and that you forgive me and that you died for me to make it possible. Help me to be more the person you want me to be each day of my life. May your name be greatly praised. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Today's contributor is Joshua Norris, a URC minister who trained at Westminster College, Cambridge.