Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 56-58
The Lord Jesus died not only for the sins of Israel (53:8), but also for the sins of the whole world. Isaiah makes it clear throughout his book that the Gentiles are included in God’s plan. What Isaiah and the other prophets of the Old Testament did not know was that believing Jews and Gentiles would one day be united in Christ in a new dispensation, the church (Eph. 3:1-12). In chapter 55, Isaiah teaches that the Gentiles are invited to seek the Lord and come to Him for cleansing. Once we have come to the Lord for cleansing, we should desire to glorify Him with our lives for truly He is worthy. Although the commandments were given to the Jews as God’s chosen people, the Gentiles are asked to honor the Sabbath as a testimony of coming to the Lord for cleansing. The Jews had been careless with honoring the Sabbath day to keep it holy, and God does not want the Gentiles following this poor example. This chapter closes with an indictment against spiritual leaders. It is certainly applicable to pastors of our day. Dripping with sarcasm, Isaiah uses words to build a picture of the carnality of the spiritual leaders of that day. Isaiah calls them “blind watchmen” who cannot see the enemy coming, and “sleeping dogs” who could not bark their warning even if they were awake! The leaders were not alert; they loved to sleep, and when they were awake, they loved to eat and drink and care for their own selfish needs. Spiritual leaders (Pastors) are watchmen that are called to protect the people from impending dangers. They are shepherds who care for the sheep no matter the danger and no matter the cost to the shepherd. Warren Wiersbe says, “Rebellious people do not deserve dedicated spiritual leaders. When His people reject His Word and prefer worldly leaders, God may give them exactly what they desire and let them suffer the consequences.” Chapter 57 teaches how the desire for worldly leaders led the people straight into idolatry, which brought God’s judgment. Oh that we would desire to do things God’s way for His glory.
• Lord, help me to remember that Sunday is a day I must make a priority to honor you. Help me to always make Sunday a day of worship to you!
• Lord, help me to be the right example of a shepherd to our dear people. May I always be willing to suffer to protect the sheep.
• Lord, help me to always be bold to sound the warnings of scripture, even if it is not popular or does not want to be heard.
• Lord, help me to be diligent, even to the point of exhaustion, in order to feed, protect, and serve those you have entrusted to me. Thank you Lord for the privilege to serve you!