Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
September 27 Scripture Selection: Isaiah 4-6
Food for Thought: Is. 6:9, 10
It must have been very important to God for us to know this scripture (Is. 6:9, 10) because it is quoted in Matthew, Mark, John and Acts. Taken at face value, this scripture makes the Lord seem quite harsh. But we know that it simply cannot be because we know the Lord as merciful and loving. So why did He say it? Because He needed to make room for the Gentiles to enter His salvation. Had all the Jews accepted Him right away, the door would never have been opened to save the whole world.
The apostle Paul, who calls himself the Apostle to the Gentiles, explains this and quotes the scripture in Acts 28:23-29 in his discourse to the Jewish leaders while he was under house arrest:
“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: ‘The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying,
‘Go to this people and say: ‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.
‘Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!‘ And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.”
Throughout his ministry, Paul addresses the controversial subject of the salvation for the Gentiles. (The Jews knew their position as the chosen people and couldn’t imagine how the Lord would “stoop” to allow Gentiles in.) He explains in Romans 11:25, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
So now, we too can consider ourselves as God’s chosen people who have been grafted into the olive tree (Rom. 11:17). And the good news is that the Lord’s goodness and mercy continues to be extended to the Jews. He makes sure that there is hope for them, too: “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Rom. 11:23).” So the perception of God being harsh by causing them not to see, hear, or understand is erroneous, and what we know about God’s love, mercy, and great wisdom is confirmed once again by His Word.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):