The Living Word for the week up to Sunday, December 31: Part 1 of 5
Monday, Dec 25: Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3
The Lord desires to show His justice and salvation to the world and we are His demonstration of that.
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
- Who is the speaker? Probably Zion, at this point.
For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
- The language of being clothed or wrapped around with a garment is widely used not just in Psalms and Proverbs but also Job and the prophets, and in the N.T. An opposite use is in Psalm 109:29
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his 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.
- Now back to the prophet speaking.
- Stories of revivals e.g. the Welsh Revival spreading from valley to valley in 1904-05, have often included accounts of crime dropping dramatically, spontaneous prayer meetings – and salvations with changed lives. When righteousness springs up, it is visible to all.
62:1 Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
- “Her righteousness” sometimes translated as “her vindication”. Similarly in the verse following.
2 The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth.
- New name reflects new status, e.g. Hephzibah “My delight is in her” and Beulah “married” which come up a couple of verses further on in Isaiah 62:4. The significance of “married” is that marriage was considered a blessing – especially to people who had previously been described as childless widows: Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labour; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord.
3 The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see – a splendid crown in the hand of God.
- Isaiah 28:5 speaks of the Lord Almighty being a glorious crown and a beautiful wreath for those of His people who remain faithful.
- This is a picture of the Lord holding up His people before a watching world, as a beautiful demonstration that He, ultimately, is the king and that His good purposes prevail. He will show His justice to the world (61:11 above).
The Lord is always seeking faithful people of beautiful attitude, to show His ways to a watching and often cynical world. This community – which has nothing to do with denominations or buildings, but everything to do with faith and prayer and submission to the Lord’s purposes – is for us, in our time, the “Zion” that the Lord loves and wishes to use as a shining picture of what righteousness looks like.
There are many overtones of revival in this passage, with righteousness springing up, people seeing God in it and turning to praise Him.
If this is God’s desire and purpose, what holds it back? Surely only our reluctance to engage in the prayer and listening and willingness to move to repentance that God is always seeking.
1. The prophet says “I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn.” What is God’s desire for revival, and what does He need us to do to usher it in?