Friday, January 16, 2009

Isaiah 56 & 57

There are three spiritual topics discussed in Isaiah 56: keeping the Sabbath, the Temple and prayer. In opposition to these three pillars stand the sacraments of Satan which are discussed in Isaiah 57: immorality, idol worship and abortion.

The Sabbath

The scriptures are replete with commandments from the Lord regarding Sabbath observance. The Bible Dictionary for Sabbath does an excellent job summarizing the history and reasons for the Sabbath. In part of the explanation in the Bible Dictionary, it says that observance of the Sabbath is "an eternal principal."

We have been taught time and time again by the ancient and modern-day prophets that the Sabbath is for resting and spiritual nourishment. On the Sabbath, we are to refrain from work and recreation and to devote ourselves to worship and spiritual edification.

Isaiah 56:1, 4, 6 reference the Lord's commandment to all people to keep the Sabbath pure.

The Temple

Isaiah 56:5 promises those who keep the commandments a blessing that is "better than sons and daughters" and a blessing of "an everlasting name." This verse has reference to the temple. Ludlow discusses how "a place and a name" can be interpreted to mean a "hand and a name." (473) This takes on significant meaning for Latter-day Saints who are fully endowed in the temple.

The D&C furthers instructs us on the meaning of a "new name." Read D&C 130:11.


The temple is not only a place to receive instruction from the Lord, but it is also a place to pray. The temple is really a "house of prayer" as described in Isaiah 56:7.

No Peace for the Wicked

Isaiah 57 describes the abject wickedness committed by Israelites in Isaiah's days as well as the moral decay that we see in our world today.

Everywhere we look, we are bombarded by images and words depicting immorality. The idol worship in Isaiah's day was tied to their agriculture. They believed that by acting out immoral deeds, their crops would be successful.

Their idol worship even included sacrificing infants to the god Molech (see footnote a in Isaiah 57:9). This type of idolatry is very similar to our own society's practice of abortion. The most common reason women have abortions today is because the child inconveniences the parents' lifestyle and ability to provide for themselves. Rather than sacrificing their lifestyles or money, they sacrifice their children to continue their worship of false gods.

The last three verses of Isaiah 57 warns those who fail to keep the commandments and submit themselves to idolatry.

"Peace, peace to him that is far off and to him that is near, said the Lord; and I will heal him.

"But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

"There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

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