“Thus says the Lord: ’Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed’” (Isaiah 56:1).
My wife, Michelle, recently asked our 4-year-old foster daughter what she wants for Christmas. Her reply was straightforward: “I want all the toys.” Most 4-year-olds and too many 40-year-olds want ALL the toys. Isaiah 56 doesn’t mention Christmas toys, but it is a chapter packed full of Christmas promises to all kinds of people.
Christmas is a time to be reminded of God’s promises. In Isaiah 56, we see that His promises are for everyone. God makes promises to the Israelites, the foreigners, even to the most lowly, the eunuchs who were slaves with no descendants. Read through the chapter and you will see that God promises salvation and deliverance (v. 1), honor (v. 5), joy and acceptance (v. 7), and a place within His walls, within His family (vv. 5,7,8).
How can God make such grand promises? He purposed to fulfill them in Jesus. While the people of Isaiah’s day had to look forward in faith and hope, today, we are able to look back from our vantage point and see that God fulfilled every promise in Jesus.
Jesus provided for our salvation by giving His life for us. Jesus delivered us when He was delivered up for us. Jesus brought us honor by His dishonor, joy by His sorrow, and acceptance by His rejection. Jesus granted us a place within the walls by being sacrificed “outside of the camp.” Jesus brought us into the family by laying down His rights as the Son to provide for our adoption. God has kept His promises.
Hundreds of years after God speaks in Isaiah, we see His promises to eunuchs coming true in Acts 8 where Peter introduces the Ethiopian eunuch to Jesus when he finds the man reading from Isaiah. The Ethiopian welcomes the good news, puts his trust in Jesus, and is baptized as a symbol of his salvation.
Two thousand years after that, even today, the promises of God are still true and still being kept to any who trust in Jesus. Those promises are for you, for your neighbors, and for the nations. Thank you, Kentucky Baptists, for all you do to ensure that the good news of the promises of God is being heard. As you enjoy those promises and share them with others, Michelle and I pray for you a very Merry Christmas!
Paul Chitwood is the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.