Commentary on Haftarah for Shabbat Shuva

This is the last Shabbat before Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). This Shabbat is called, “Shabbat Shuva.” “Shabbat Suva” means “The Sabbath of Repentance.” The reason for this name is because the reading from the Prophets is from Isaiah 55:6-56:8. Isaiah 55:6-7, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

What can we learn from the above text from Isaiah?

“Seek the LORD while He may be found:” The LORD has a season when He can be found, but there is also a time limit to that season.This is a biblical teaching from the book of Genesis. God said to Abraham our Father: Gen 15:13-16, “Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

The LORD did not drive out the seven nations of the Land of Canaan because of the righteousness of the children of Israel as it is written: “Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you.” (Deut. 9:4)

There is a time when God will no longer accept our prayers and it will be too late to repent.This is true for individuals and also for nations, tribes and groups; “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you.”(Jer. 7:16)

This concept appears three times in Jeremiah.It also appears in Jeremiah 11:14, 14:11, and the most interesting one is in Jeremiah 15:1, “Then the LORD said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.”

Take this into consideration.The Lord said even if these two great man of God, Moses and Samuel would stand before me and intercede for these people I am not going to change my mind in favor of the people – I would still send them to the diaspora.

There is a time of opportunity, a time when the LORD is near you and you are near the LORD.This is a time that God is waiting for you and gives you the opportunities and the moments to come back to HIM. This “coming back” is called “REPENTANCE” or “RETURN.”The Apostle Paul defined this process to the citizens of Athens, Greece, when he spoke to the judges of the High Court of Athens: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

The next thing that we learn from this text in Isaiah 55 is the definition of what is a wicked person and what is an unrighteous person and what God desires from them, from us all; “let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.”

A wicked person is a person who does not think before he takes action and he does evil but his motivation is not a calculated one with malicious intent.

The unrighteous person is a person who knows what “RIGHETEOUS” is but he thinks about it and calculates his evil deeds and actions with intent and premeditation.

The LORD calls both the wicked and the unrighteous people to return to HIM.Notice the difference between so much that is called “Repentance” – God is calling the sinner to come back to HIM.Sin is a separation between God and man.Sin separates us from God makes God ignore our requests and close HIS eyes and ears to us.But if we return to HIM this is what is going to happen:

“He (The LORD) may have compassion on him, and our God. . . will abundantly pardon.”

WE have the same God that Isaiah and the people of Israel have from the call of Abraham our Father until the Cross of Yeshua our Messiah and until now and to the end of the ages.
This Shabbat all the Jewish people in every Synagogue around the world will be reading this text from Isaiah. It would be wonderful if every Christian would pray to God for the salvation of Israel for the Words of Isaiah to be accepted and received and the opportune time of the LORD to be received. It would be wonderful if every Church and community of Disciples of Yeshua in the world would meditate about their own sin and return to God. Please pray for this both for the Jewish people and for your own community and church.
Organized religion, churches, denominations, and organizations, teach the sinners to repent and return to the Church or Denomination. They teach that the church has the power to forgive sins and atone for the sinner, but this is not what the Word of God teaches. The LORD said: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace;

The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:11-12) This is the END GAME dear brothers and sisters. In the END God and HIS WORD (the printed WORD and the LIVING WORD – THE MESSIAH HIMSELF. Will be vindicated and all the promises of God will be fulfilled and not only man, but nature and the earth itself will return to God who made it. The only question is if we know how to seize that opportune moment when the Gates of Repentance are open and the heart of God is full of compassion and our verdict is not yet sealed. The moment when we can come back to God and return to HIM with all our heart and soul and our very being. The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the days of OWE – the terrible days but they are also the time of God’s favor where HE is waiting for us as a nation and as individuals to return to HIM. That HE might have compassion on us and will abundantly pardon us all.

This article originally appeared as a part of The Jerusalem Prayer List from Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry, October 6, 2015, and reposted with permission.