The Year of Lord’s Favor – Isaiah 61
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines;
6 but you shall be called priests of the Lord,
you shall be named ministers of our God;
you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations,
and in their riches you shall glory.
7 Because their shame was double,
and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot,
therefore they shall possess a double portion;
everlasting joy shall be theirs.
8 For I the Lord love justice,
I hate robbery and wrongdoing;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge
that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
What does the passage say?
V. 1-3 Isaiah is prophesizing on behalf of Jesus Christ. These three verses are the scripture Jesus reads in the Synagog and says, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Through the word of Isaiah, God foretold God’s plan of restoration.
V. 4-8 Restoration God will bring to the land of Israel. God promises a double portion of blessings and also says that God’s people ‘will be called priests of the Lord’ (v. 6 NIV). However, we will have to think if this applies to Israel. As a matter of fact, Israel is still yet to say they experienced the fulfillment of this promise. That means that this prophecy of restoration will be a glimpse of God’s coming kingdom and God’s fulfillment of God’s word.
V. 10-11 After the word of God proclaimed; the prophet celebrates the joy of receiving the word of promise. Even though the word was yet to fulfilled, he rejoiced in the fact that God never forsakes God’s people.
What does this mean to me/us
How God’s prophecy is to continue in this world. Through Jesus Christ, God fulfilled God’s covenant of restoration. However, the Kingdom is here but yet to come. It is a paradox since we live in a linear time, and God’s kingdom is a Kairos time, which can mean ‘opportune time,’ but also has a meaning of ‘God’s time.’
We are living in this world, called to continue building God’s kingdom. For people who are called to be ‘priest,’ descendants of the anointed one, it makes sense for us to be part of the vision our Lord presents.
Proclaiming good news to the Poor
Bind up the brokenhearted
Proclaim freedom to the captives
Release from darkness for the prisoners (v. 1 NIV)
Does our life reflect these characters of restoration?
What if we seek God’s will on ‘how to continue to be part of God’s promise, as we walk this season of Lent.’
What does this MEAN to you?
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