Isaiah 56:1-8

What instructions does the Lord give to the people in order to prepare themselves for His return?

In vv. 4-8, what attitude does the Lord have toward the Gentiles, or those who are not from the nation of Israel?

Throughout Israel’s history they struggled with this area.  When God made His promise to Abraham, He said that He would bless all nations through Abraham.  God’s intent was from the beginning to bring everyone to Himself.  Israel was supposed to be the light shining on the hill so that all people would see the glory of God and be drawn to Him.  Instead, the people used the Law to keep people out and took on an elitist attitude.  God was not pleased by this.

How is the Temple described in v. 7.  Read Matthew 21:12-15.  How does Jesus describe the Temple, and why is he so angry?

The people in Jesus day were no different than those in Isaiah’s day.  They had turned what was supposed to be the bright, shining symbol of God’s love and grace to the world and turned it into a market place to make a quick dime.  How many times do we do this?  How many times do we use our “religion” to keep people out and to capitalize on it for our own behalf.

Ask God to reveal any ways in which you may be keeping “strangers and foreigners” outside of your heart for the wrong reasons.

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