Isaiah 61:4-11 – Everlasting Joy

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Dear Friends,

This week as we continue in Chapter 61, Isaiah describes the thousand years of peace in the kingdom to come, when Jesus will be on the throne and Jerusalem will be the capital of the world.

Father, give us understanding as we continue in Isaiah, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Isaiah 61:4-11
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.

We have been seeing the initial preparations for the fulfillment of this prophecy taking place in Israel for quite some time now. For example, in 2019 after six years of excavations they opened the Pilgrim’s Road, the path that Jesus walked on which extended from Herod’s Temple to the Pool of Siloam.

5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen 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.

In our day, many Israelis are farmers. The Jews do not farm when they leave Israel but they do when they go back there. In that day, however, they will let the Gentiles attend to the farming while they attend to the priesthood. This was God’s plan for Israel from the beginning. (Ex 19:6) Just as Solomon’s kingdom grew rich from the wealth of their Gentile neighbors, in that day the Jews will grow rich from Gentiles the world over.

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.

Many think of America this way, the nation the Lord has blessed. In some ways that has been true, but in that day it will be true of Israel in every way.

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.

They say all brides are beautiful and that is true, but the way brides deck themselves out in the East is something else. When I lived in India and saw how the brides dressed up on their wedding day it really brought this verse to life for me. The groom dresses in a very ornate manner as well. Isaiah uses the metaphor of the bride and the groom in their wedding attire to help us understand the beauty of Messiah; yea, he is altogether lovely. His glory will extend throughout the earth:

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.
Isaiah 61:4-11

 

Passover began earlier this week on Wednesday evening. That makes Easter Sunday fit perfectly with the Hebrew calendar for Resurrection Day this year, ie three days and three nights after Passover. Although the Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar cycle and Easter is based on the spring equinox, this alignment happens every now and then. While no man knows the day or the hour, there is nothing in Scripture that says we are not allowed to hope.

What do I mean by that. We have only witnessed the full life cycle of a human being once in history. When Jesus rose from the dead in his glorified body, we saw what is in store for all of us who have received Him as our personal Saviour. (Those who have not received Him will be separated from Him for eternity; what good does it do to have a glorified body if you are locked away in exile?) Jesus was the firstfruits, the first begotten of the dead. The rest of us are still waiting for his trumpet call. What if, in a fortuitous occurrence of providential circumstances, just when God has gotten everyone’s attention with the world on lock down, He decided to execute the first resurrection of believers (Rev 20:6) on Resurrection Day 2020, three days after Passover, just like it happened on the first Resurrection Day? Again, Jesus said of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. What we do know is it going to be glorious. Take the best day you have ever had, make it a lot better, too good to even describe, and that will be every day for all eternity. (Ps 84:10) When Jesus tabernacled among us He loved children, lepers, and sinners. He cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene. He healed the lame and gave sight to the blind. He raised Lazarus from the dead. Despite all that and more He was betrayed into the hands of sinners. After they crucified Him He rose again on the third day in fulfillment of the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven. He is coming back again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

Whatever you have done, regardless of how terrible it may seem in your eyes or however many times you may have failed Him before, the invitation is open to all who will believe. His mercy endures forever.

….And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
….And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:46-47

….And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Acts 16:31

Who is you favorite world leader? If you had to pick some figure from history as the model statesman whom you admire above all others, who might that be? Compared to Jesus, that person would look like Barney Fife. Jesus’ glory will be beyond anything we can imagine. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

Happy Resurrection Day friends. May God richly bless you.

 

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
John 5:25

41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
Acts 13:41

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Luke 21:36