The Spirit of the Lord

Isaiah 61:1–11 (NKJV)

61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

This Messianic statement describes the work and promises of Christ to the hurting and weak.  The Messiah, Jesus, will bring deliverance, healing, clemency, comfort, beauty, joy, etc.  This is a great foreshadowing of the blessing that will come from Him.  Jesus reads this passage just before He begins His public ministry in the temple.  He declares that this prophecy was written with Him in mind.

4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

8 “For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
And their offspring among the people.
All who see them shall acknowledge them,
That they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.”

In this passage, the Messiah promises that the Gentiles will provide for the Jews.  Double Honor will come to Israel.  They will receive double their possessions.  They will receive and everlasting covenant, and will be known among all the nations.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
My soul shall be joyful 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 ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

This last passage describes Isaiah’s reaction to the Lord’s promises. His rejoicing in his salvation and righteousness are set in the trappings of a wedding.  He also uses the analogy of the earth budding and springing forth.  In the same way, God will cause praise to spring forth in front of all the nations.  Rejoice in the Lord.  Be joyful in the Lord.  The God of Restoration shall bring you all that has been lost!

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