Here’s more gold from Alec Motyer. Reading Isaiah 56:1-12, he asks, what are the distinctive marks of God’s people?

His answer:

First personal decision, (“joined himself to the Lord”, v. 3, 6), and love of his name (v.6), the determination to go the Lord’s way (“choose”, v.4).

And what does it mean to “take a firm grip on my covenant”? Two things: his “covenant” is first and foremost his outreach to us in grace and love, his gracious promises made our personal possession, and then secondly, as a result, our life of obedience, living for his good pleasure (Col. 1:10).

Our hearts, given to the Lord and full of love for all he has revealed about himself (his name); our wills, committed and choosing what we know will please him; our lives, as their basic principle, resting on his grace, living out his Word.

We are joined to the Lord himself in spiritual union; pondering, loving and reveling in his revealed truth; committed to going his way; saved by grace; obedient in life.

Listen to his last point, as he sums up what this all means, and ponder how relevant this is in our day of anxious, spreading division and isolation:

These are the things
that bind us
into the shared reality of being the one, universal people of the Lord,
the blessed company of all believers…

We need to give careful attention to all that unites, and to be wary of things that make differences and divide.

Prescient, wise words.