October 20th Isaiah 61 The Good news
1: The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2: To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3: To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 4: And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. 5: And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your ploughmen and your vinedressers. 6: But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. 7: For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. 8: For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9: And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. 10: I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 11: For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth 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.
1: For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. 2: And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. 3: Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. 4: Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 5: For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. 6: I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, 7: And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8: The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: 9: But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness. 10: Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. 11: Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 12: And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
Isaiah 63 Mighty to save
1: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2: Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3: I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4: For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5: And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6: And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
The Lord is good
7: I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 8: For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. 9: In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. 10: But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. 11: Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him? 12: That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? 13: That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? 14: As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.
A prayer for restoration
15: Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained? 16: Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. 17: O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. 18: The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. 19: We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.
When the Lord Jesus went to Nazareth, his home town, to preach the gospel of the kingdom he went to the Synagogue. It was the custom to stand up if you wished to speak. Christ stood up and was invited to come to the reading desk to read. And this passage is what he read, Isaiah ch 61. In this one declaration the two advents of Christ are presented as if there is no break between them. Christ however does something very unusual. He reads, 1: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2: To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And then he stops and gives the scroll back to the attendant. And then he said, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’ and then he sat down. (The shortest sermon in the Bible) This passage has beautifully described Christ’s earthly ministry while he was here in the flesh. He speaks of the Holy Spirit that has come upon him. He says that he has been anointed to preach the Gospel to those who will receive it. He has come to heal the broken, He has come to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. (The OT saints in Abraham’s bosom) He has come to proclaim the year in which the Lord will call on Israel to return to him. So why did he stop in the middle of the sentence? Because the rest of the passage describes his mission at his second coming. Then he will declare the day of vengeance of our God. He is coming in judgment. He will comfort those that mourn. He will give those that mourn in Zion beauty for ashes, (Those who sit on the dung hill covered in sackcloth and ashes will be raised up to sit with Christ is glory. They will have the joy of his anointing; they will be dressed in the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. They will be called ‘trees of righteousness’, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. The rest of these chapters describe the peace of the Messianic kingdom and the day of vengeance of our God. the cities of Israel are to be rebuilt. Gentiles will come to take the lowest jobs. The men of Israel will be called the Priests of the Lord, the Ministers of our God. Israel will be clothed in salvation and robes of righteousness. And through Israel righteousness will extend to the nations. All the Gentiles and Kings of the earth will see the glory of the Lord. Jerusalem will be a secure city for ever. In Ch 63 we see a vision of Christ who has come from a battle with the Antichrist and his armies. Israel will never fight a war again so Christ goes out alone to fight their enemies. So Isaiah says, ‘Who is he that comes from Edom? With stained garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength’. This is Christ who has trod the winepress alone. He has trodden down his enemies alone and his clothes are covered in blood. And then the Lord goes on to describe Israel’s long fickle relationship with him through backslidings and restorations.