The Outcasts of Israel -Isaiah 56

Isaiah 56:1-8

1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.  2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.  3 ¶ Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.  4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;  5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.  6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;  7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.  8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

There I was sitting in Sunday School minding my own business when I was hit upside the head with an application of a scripture I have read so many times before and never seen the connection.  In Isaiah 56 the Lord addresses two distinct groups of people: 1)strangers – those not of the House of Israel but in this context are converted to worshipping God, 2) eunuchs – those unable to create children, in the Old Testament context not having children was very unfortunate.  Both groups of people were often considered as those on the outside looking in.  To both groups of people the Lord says that as long as they choose the things that please Him, and take hold of the covenant, they will receive an everlasting name and will not be cut off (see Isaiah 56:4-5)

As I read this I thought to myself, how is this counsel applicable today?  What groups of people feel as if they are outsiders with no chance of feeling acceptance of the Lord?  We have an ever growing number of folks who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who feel as if they are second-class citizens.  I believe that this is not so.  As long as they (and all of us in the Church for that matter) abide by the covenant and keep the moral standards the Lord has set, they are entitled to every blessing the Lord promises us.

About LDS Scripture Teachings

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