Daily Bible Nugget #413, Isaiah 55:3

The Nugget:

Isa 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

My Comment:

Today another very good question was posed in the ongoing discussion in the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group.” The question asked is “Are you, Mr. Smith, trying to tell me that these two  people–David and Abraham–are not righteous? Are they sinners or not?”

My Answer:

Faruq Kolodi, note carefully that Abraham and David are declared righteous before God not on the basis of Leviticus 18:5 (“Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD”), but on the basis of the principle of faith declared in Genesis 15:6 (“And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness”).
It is clear from Genesis 15:6 that Abraham was declared righteous on the basis of his faith in the covenant promises God bestowed upon him.  Therefore, Abraham was justified before God, was declared righteous, on the basis of faith, not deeds of righteousness.
But what about David? On what basis was David declared righteous?  I made reference before to Psalm 32.  David understood the principle underlying Genesis 15:6.  Notice David begins Psalm 32 by saying “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).  David says again, “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:2).
David does not come to God on the basis of any righteousness of his own. He comes entirely on the basis of his trust in the Lord, a trust grounded in the known righteousness and promises of God, as seen at the conclusion of Psalm 32 when David says, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about” (Psalm 32:10).
So, both Abraham and David were sinners before the Lord at different points in their lives. Abraham lied about Sarah and his relationship to her to preserve his own life.  Abraham followed Sarah’s advice to have a son through Hagar rather than wait on God to fulfill His promise of a son through Sarah. But despite these failures, Abraham continued to place his trust in God and His promises.  David also experienced sin in his life in the matter of Bathsheba and many other experiences. But David always repented and turned back to the Lord with full and unwavering faith. David does not attempt to justify himself before God on the basis of any righteousness of his own.  David always depended upon the mercy of God, even what were later called by Isaiah, “the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3).
Isaiah 55:3 may well be one of the most important verses in the Bible, for when you fully understand and believe what it means, you will understand Bible prophecy correctly. But more than that, you will have the eternal life that God promises to those who truly believe in Him and His promises.
Isaiah 55:3, “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
Note the  promise in Isaiah 55:3, hear, and your soul shall live.
It may help to focus more deeply upon this verse by considering a contrary question:  What if I do not hear?  What if I will not listen? The result of not hearing is clearly that my soul will not live.
But what does it mean, “Your soul shall live”?  It clearly means that until I do hear, my soul does not live, and I am spiritually dead.
This verse in Isaiah 55:3 speaks of an everlasting covenant, “the sure mercies of David.”  Those sure mercies are the promises God gave to David in the Davidic Covenant, a Covenant which is still in force, and has yet to be completely fulfilled. God gave those promises to David not because David was personally righteous on the basis of his own good works, but on the basis of David’s unwavering full faith in God, and so just as Abraham was declared righteous on the basis of his faith in God’s promises, so was David.
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