Waiting, but Not Idle

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 56:1-12

Soon my salvation will come. (v. 1)

The best way to get into the spirit of Isaiah 56—66 is, so to speak, to stand
inside 56:1 and look both forward and backward. From this vantage point, we look back to
salvation once for all accomplished (chapter 53), and we look forward to a salvation soon
to come. In other words, 56:1 is exactly where we are, as believers in Jesus. We look back
to Calvary—“one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Heb. 10:12 NKJV)—and forward to
Jesus coming again, “apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28).

So how shall we spend our waiting time? Two commands: “Maintain justice, and do what is
right.” We have met the word justice before in its meaning of the truth God has revealed.
In other words, while we wait we are to be pre-eminently Bible people, people of the Word
of God.

As to “doing right,” Isaiah illustrates this by Sabbath keeping—a topic to which
he will return in chapter 58. He surely chose this because to keep the Lord’s Day holy
involves planning our whole week, adjusting all our use of time so as to copy the pattern
he set in creation. The Lord’s waiting people live by his Word and imitate his lifestyle.


Teach us, Lord, to “live wisely, making the most of the time, understanding the will of the Lord.” (Eph. 5:15-17)