Welcome back to Isaiah 56. Yesterday, I found plenty to say about the first verse alone (and, for that matter, the exigencies of drafting a blog post in the Chicago O’Hare Airport without a laptop). Today we’re digging into the meat of the chapter, which concerns foreigners and eunuchs and how they relate to Israel, God’s chosen people. The Sabbath, as we’ve seen, is also an important element, so let’s check it out.
God’s message to Israel in the book of Ezekiel isn’t just judgment and wrath. Ezekiel also carries a vision of restoration for the temple and Israel, and that restoration encompasses Sabbath.
Like Jeremiah, the prophet Ezekiel is a man with a message from the Lord. God’s judgment on the Jewish people is a primary theme in his prophecy; in one of the most bizarre pieces of performance art inside or outside the Bible, he lays siege to a model of Jerusalem and bakes bread over a fire fueled by human feces (Ezekiel 4:1-17). And as Ezekiel relates, one of the many things for which God is judging his people is neglecting the Sabbath.