Continuing from chapter 60, in today’s Scripture Isaiah prophesies about the time of salvation.
Isaiah Chapter 61
Lessons from the text
God’s Promise of Salvation
God has a plan of salvation. These eleven verses follow the entire process. First, God sends His anointed (Christ). This person preaches to the meek, heals hearts, frees those who are captive in sin, teaches what is acceptable to God, and comforts those who are filled with sorrow. These address the spiritual, mental, and emotional needs of people.
Second, God sends His anointed to change what is dirty into what is beautiful, to turn sorrow into joy, to replace burdens with praise, to rebuild what is desolate, to exalt His people above others, to give people an official office of ministry in His presence, and to give an inheritance for laboring for the Lord despite ridicule. All these point to a social change and result in physical and political changes.
Third, we see the result of the first two actions by God; extreme praise by the believer. Acknowledging that God is the one who is working salvation, the saints become like a beloved bride; showered with gifts of love by God. In this final stage of salvation, all the world be filled with righteousness.
(Note: all the earth will be filled with righteousness because all the wicked will be caste into a lake of fire to burn forever (Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8)
The born-again Christian is in the first stage of salvation. Having accepted Jesus, we are healed spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. We get to look forward to the next two stages when our bodies will be redeemed and we will live forever in the kingdom God ministering and praising Him for His wonderful works in us and the world.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1-2 These verses refer to Christ’s mission for His first coming. Jesus reads these verse in Galilee immediately after emerging from the temptation in the desert as a declaration of the beginning of His ministry (Lk. 4:18-19). His main purpose in His first coming is to free people from sin and to make known that this freedom is attainable to all who will receive it.
3-4 These verses refer to Christ’s second coming when He will restore His people physically. His first coming is to restore the spirit; His second will be to restore the body and nation.
5-6 Instead of being the workers, God’s people will be the reapers. As priests of God, He is the inheritance and possession of His people. They are to receive provision from the tithes and offerings of the general public (Deut. 18:1-2).
7-8 God’s people may in this life be shamed by others and confused by the hardships and oppression they endure. God says that one’s faith will not be in vain; if one holds true, then one’s pain and confusion will be turned into everlasting joy. One can rest on this promise because of God’s character; because God hates dishonesty and loves righteous judgment, He will deal honestly with the righteous and in the end reward those who are faithful.
9 God’s final promise in this section is that everyone will acknowledge the Jews as the chosen people. What God has started, He will finish. He planted a kingdom of faith in Abraham and will ensure that the seed will come to fruition.
10-11 In response to the gracious promises of God during the time of salvation, Isaiah praises God. Note that God does not make one righteous, but clothes one in righteousness. Human righteousness is always defiled, always impure compared to the spotless righteousness of God. Such is why God clothes man in the righteousness of His Son; man can be counted as righteous even though he is not. This is the basis of salvation and a cause for great rejoicing in the Redeemer.
God adorns man with gifts of love and grace far beyond what one deserves, causing His seed of righteous to blossom despite man’s lack of righteousness. One’s goal is to become like Christ, to become like the righteousness and salvation with which God clothes one.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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