“Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him” (Isaiah 51:1-2).

Today’s text is, in my opinion, one of the most remarkable texts on righteousness you can find in the book of Isaiah. God’s word through the prophet Isaiah to Israel, the very people to whom the law was given, is that the way to truly follow after righteousness is to look to (that is, learn from) Abraham.  God says ‘Abraham!’ Not to Moses or his law. Isn’t that remarkable?

What were they to learn from Abraham about righteousness? That righteousness is by faith and not by works! Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). This was God’s plan for the justification of mankind from the beginning- Faith and not the law. The law was merely a response to the unbelief of the Jews.

Bear in mind that God’s dealings with the children of Israel were in fulfillment of His promise to Abraham. The fact that God didn’t give Abraham the law is proof that it wasn’t His plan for the children of Israel either. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith” Romans 4:13. The law was to push hard-hearted Israel to the original plan, which is righteousness by faith.