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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Isaiah 61

I'm reading through the Bible this year using The Sanctuary Bible - NLT - Devotional Bible for Women.  Needless to say, I'm a little behind.  I am using this 52 week Bible reading plan;  each day of the week I'm in a different area of the Bible - Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy and The Gospels.  This morning, Isaiah 61 was a portion of my reading.  I've read this chapter of the Bible a crazy number of times and heard many sermons and completed many Bible studies where this portion of Scripture was expounded upon.  However, this morning the promises in this one chapter of the Bible fell on me like a breath of fresh air.  Even though I'm somewhat behind in my "reading through the Bible" plan, it never ceases to make me want to shout when God ordains His perfect Words for the perfect time I need to hear them anew!

Here is Isaiah 61, NLT version, with the promises italicized and in bold print:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
for the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released 
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the LORD's favor has come,
and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel, 
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness,
they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted 
for his own glory.
They will rebuiled the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted
for many generations.
Foreigners will be your servants.
They will feed your flocks
and plow your fields
and tend your vineyards.
You will be called priests of the LORD,
ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
and boast in their riches.
Instead of shame and dishonor,
you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion 
of prosperity in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
For I, the LORD, love justice.
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people
for their suffering
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be recognized
and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
the LORD has blessed.
I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit
or a bride with her jewels.
The Sovereign LORD will show justice
to the nations of the world.
Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden
in early Spring,
with plants springing up everywhere.

Matthew Henry says of this chapter in the Bible:
"Promises are here made to the Jews now returned out of captivity, and settled again in their own land, which are to be extended to the gospel church, and all believers, who through grace are delivered out of spiritual thraldom; for they are capable of being spiritually applied...See what the promised blessings are—righteousness and praise (for those that are clothed with righteousness show forth the praises of him that clothed them); these shall spring forth under the influence of the dew of divine grace. Though it may sometimes be winter with the church, when those blessings seem to wither and do not appear, yet the root of them is fixed, a spring-time will come, when through the reviving beams of the approaching Sun of righteousness they shall flourish again."
I hope this encourages you today as you are reminded of all that is yours in Jesus Christ!



Tesha said...

This is a beautiful post, I have read it twice! Thanks for sharing this beautiful song. You are such an encouragement, I think about the song your Husband sang ALL the time. I am so blessed to read your blog.