People loyal to the Lord receive the good news of restoration with joy. They are ready to praise God for His grace and mercy. The faithful among Judah’s exiles will see with eyes of faith what a wonderful redemption the Servant of the Lord will accomplish for them (61:1-3). Jesus perfectly fulfills this prophecy in His salvation ministry (Luke 4:18-21). In Isaiah’s time, though, Israel is in exile, so the Servant will bring good news of their liberation from exile (61:1). He announces the day of restoration has come (61:2). A complete reversal of circumstances is in order for those who grieve for their sinful ways (61:3a). New names indicate their new fortunes. All of these wonderful changes point to the glory of the Lord that has come to reside with them. People who receive such blessings will be those who grasp the new opportunity to do right and stand strong for a worthy cause: “They will all do what is right, And God will be praised for what he has done” (61:3b, GNB).
Salvation affects every area of life and every relationship. Salvation forms a new community of faith and its members serve to build it further. For Israel the good news means that their nation would be rebuilt. Devastation, ruin, and desolation are in the past (61:4). The nation would thrive again, producing all they require for themselves and for others who would join them (61:5).
Priests will lead in worship again (61:6a). The good news for Israel also means the nations that had oppressed Israel will become the servants of Israel. Shame and humiliation will turn to abundance and joy (61:6b-7). The good news particularly focuses on the lasting quality of what God has begun. Because He is the God who loves justice and hates sham religion, He “will faithfully give them their recompense,” that is, He will establish “an everlasting covenant with them” (61:8). The offspring of the faithful will themselves evidence faith because part of Israel’s witness to the nation and to the world is how God has blessed them (61:9).
The remnant now sings the praises of the God who granted all these blessings. This song rises to the heights of God’s presence and praises Him for raising the singer from low estate to exalted glory (61:10; Luke 1:46-56). Such praise is as natural as the renewing of the earth in the spring (61:11).
Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: email@example.com
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