Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Looking ahead to your past
August 23, 2020

Looking ahead to your past

August 23, 2020

Isaiah 51:1-6

51 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
    and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
    and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
look to Abraham, your father,
    and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
    and I blessed him and made him many.
The Lord will surely comfort Zion
    and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
    her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

“Listen to me, my people;
    hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
    my justice will become a light to the nations.
My righteousness draws near speedily,
    my salvation is on the way,
    and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
    and wait in hope for my arm.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment
    and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
    my righteousness will never fail.


Here the Lord is speaking to those who pursue righteousness (cf. Matt. 5:6) and seek Him. The believing remnant in Israel is to think back on their background. The rock from which they were cut, figuratively speaking, is explained in verse 2 as Abraham and Sarah, the “founders” of the nation. God made him many, that is, gave the patriarch many descendants as He had promised (Gen. 12:2; 15:5; 17:6; 22:17). For many years Abraham and Sarah had no children, but they believed God (Gen. 15:6). These people too are to believe Him. Though they have not yet seen the fruition of God’s promises about Israel being a nation in the land (Gen. 15:18–21) they do have His sure word that God’s kingdom will be established on the earth. Because of the Lord’s compassion (cf. Isa. 49:10, 15) the land will someday be fruitful like Eden … the garden of the Lord. Because of this, joy (cf. 51:11) will abound among the remnant.[1]

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Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3


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  1. John A. Martin, “Isaiah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1105.


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