Isaiah 56:1-8 — Salvation without discrimination

One thing about the temple worship in the Old Testament was that it was very exclusive.  You notice this a lot in the books of Moses.  The most obvious example of this is that only the priests could enter the Holy Place in the temple, and only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and that once a year.

But there were other rules as well.  Even among the priests, if they had damaged testicles or had any kind of physical defect, they could not enter the Holy Place or Most Holy Place.  (Leviticus 21:16-24)

Also, if you look at temple worship throughout the Old and New Testament, you see that there were areas foreigners couldn’t enter and places where women couldn’t enter as well.

But here God says that those distinctions would be done away with.  He said,

Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”  And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”    For this is what the Lord says:  “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant – to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.  And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  (3-7)

In other words, it doesn’t matter who you are.  If you will seek after God, he will accept you.  You are not a second-class citizen in his eyes.  Whether you’re a Jew, or American, or Japanese, or whoever you may be, God accepts you as his beloved child.

Paul put it this way,

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3:26-28)

Do you feel like a second-class citizen in the kingdom of God?  Always remember that no matter who you are, or what you’ve done, you’re never second-class in God’s eyes.  His grace extends to all regardless of race, sex, or circumstances.  Let us rest each day in that knowledge.


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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