In my last post, we concluded our examination of the Glory of Tziyon ~ Part 2 in Yesha’yahu 60:13-22. In this post, we learn of God’s Announcement of Good News in Yesha’hayu 61:1-11.
1 The Spirit of Adonai Elohim is upon me because Adonai has anointed me to announce good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim freedom to the captives, to let out into light those bound in the dark; 2 to proclaim the year of the favor of Adonai and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,
Many of us are probably familiar with the opening verses of Yesha’hayu 61. Let me set the stage by looking at the Gospel of Luke.
16 Now when he went to Natzeret, where he had been brought up, on Shabbat, he went to the synagogue as usual. He stood up to read, 17, and he was given the scroll of the prophet Yesha’yahu. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of Adonai is upon me because he has anointed me to announce Good News to the poor; he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the imprisoned and renewed sight for the blind, to release those who have been crushed, 19 to proclaim a year of the favor of Adonai.” 20 After closing the scroll and returning it to the shammash, he sat down; and the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 He started to speak to them: “Today, as you heard it read, this passage of the Tanakh was fulfilled!“ ~ Luke 4:16-21 (CJB)
When Yeshua read the appointed passage from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue in Natzeret and proclaimed, Today, as you heard it read, this passage of the Tanakh was fulfilled the people knew He was claiming to be the Messiah. His earthly ministry did fulfill this messianic prophecy – at least part of it. He came to announce Good News, to heal, and to proclaim freedom. He came to proclaim the year of the favor of Adonai. But that’s where Yeshua stopped when he read from Isaiah in Luke. At His first advent, He brought salvation. At His second advent, He will bring proclaim…the day of vengeance of our God. God’s judgment awaits His second coming when He will crush His enemies and restore Isra’el to the ultimate place of glory.
3 yes, provide for those in Tziyon who mourn, giving them garlands instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a cloak of praise instead of a heavy spirit, so that they will be called oaks of righteousness planted by Adonai, in which he takes pride.
Following the vengeance of the Tribulation, God will comfort. He will give beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness for mourning, the cloak of praise for the heavy spirit. This speaks of the Millennium to be sure, but also of our present situation. You see, a garment is something you can put on and take off. That is the way praise is. You can decide to slip it on or cast it off. It is a decision we make every day. When your spirit gets heavy, start praising and worshiping. Speak praise out loud. Sing songs of praise. Worship the Lord. The cloak of praise or the heavy spirit? It’s our choice.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins, restore sites long destroyed; they will renew the ruined cities, destroyed many generations ago.
Recall from my first post in this series (way back when) that Yesha’yahu wrote this prophecy sometime between 745-686 BCE. The Babylonians devastated Yerushalayim and its surrounding towns and villages in 587 BCE. This prophecy looks to the future when the cities will be restored and rebuilt.
5 Strangers will stand and feed your flocks, foreigners plow your land and tend your vines; 6, but you will be called cohanim of Adonai, spoken of as ministers to our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and revel in their riches.
Isra’el will go from being despised among the nations to becoming the head of the nations – a rebuilt and glorious land that will be fitting as the place from which the Messiah will rule. As the Gentiles enrich and serve Isra’el, God’s people will finally be what they were always meant to be – a nation in which all of the people will be called cohanim of Adonai, ministering His grace to all the world. Therefore, they are spoken of as ministers to our God.
In the Millennium, when Yeshua comes back, the Jews again will be ministers of God. God is not through with Isra’el. The prophecies of the Bible will not make sense to you unless you see clearly that the Lord still has a beautiful work to do with her. In Romans 9-11, we see God’s plan and heart for His people, the nation of Isra’el.
7 Because of your shame, which was doubled, and because they cried, “They deserve disgrace,” therefore, in their land, what they own will be doubled, and joy forever will be theirs. 8 “For I, Adonai, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offerings. So, I will be faithful to reward them and make an eternal covenant with them.”
In other words, the Jews would experience twice as much joy and blessing upon returning to their land as the confusion and shame they felt when they left it as they were carried into captivity.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations, their offspring among the peoples; all who see them will acknowledge that they are the seed Adonai has blessed.
In the Avrahamic covenant, God promised that Avraham‘s descendants would enjoy a great blessing, which pointed to happiness and prosperity. As Believers, we live under the new covenant. Still, one-day, Isra’el will also rule when Yeshua comes to rule on the throne of David in His millennial kingdom, and Isra’el receives Him as their Messiah. In that day, all people will acknowledge that they are the seed Adonai has blessed.
10 I am so joyful in Adonai! My soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in salvation, dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels. 11 For just as the earth brings forth its plants or a garden makes its plants spring up, so Adonai, God, will cause victory and glory to spring up before all nations. ~ Isaiah 61:1-11 (CJB)
This is the song of the ransomed and redeemed. The Jews sang it upon their return from Bavel. It is sung by Believers, covered with the robe of Yeshua’s righteousness. And it will be sung in the kingdom age -all to the glory of God.
Yesha’yahu used the theme of clothing to describe his take on God’s salvation and righteousness. These were not just any clothes but the clothes of a bride. This image implies the metaphor of God as the husband of His people.
In my next post, we will explore Tziyon’s Restoration in Yesha’yahu 62.