SIXTY ONE : SEVEN
DEEPLY DISCOVERING THE DECLARATION OF ISAIAH 61
There isn’t a way I could ever decide on my most favorite verse in the Bible, but there are without a doubt some that rock me more significantly than others. Isaiah 61 is my daily declaration, the passage I feel most like my intimate Father crafted just for me. Recently He whispered in my ear as I read it to myself that He wanted me to break the passage down into bite-sized pieces and share it in this easier-to-chew form with the rest of the world. I immediately said “no thanks” (politely, I should add). I am not a Bible scholar and am therefore underqualified for any assignment to further explain this profound book. Then He led me straight to 1 John 2:27: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” Now, I don’t believe this means that we don’t need Bible scholars and educated pastors to help guide us and make us understand, because we do. I believe this verse is in this book to clarify to us that after we accept Jesus Christ and rely solely on His Spirit, should He call us to a task, we needn’t fear whether or not we know all there is to know because He knows all there is to know and will share it with us. As a matter of fact, I could do an entire separate series discussing all the underqualified believers that He uses. It’s kind of His style.
So here we are. This eleven(ish) week study will break down the verses of the bold and brilliant declaration that is Isaiah 61. I am praying for clarity, understanding, and inexplicable Holy Spirit guidance so that together, we can uncover the truth about who we are called to be once we receive the Holy Spirit.
INSTEAD OF THEIR SHAME MY PEOPLE WILL RECEIVE A DOUBLE PORTION
If verse seven is a continuation of what we read in verse six, we can assume that “their” is referencing the nations whose wealth we feed on. Let’s take a moment to talk about the filthy rich. How many have earned their wealth through honesty and integrity? The answer isn’t zero, but it most certainly is not the means by which most have reached staggering wealth. More often than not, there is dishonesty involved. Deceit, cheating, stealing. The temptation to take whatever action necessary to get ahead is strong and overwhelms many.
Double portion describes a special kind of inheritance. Back in the Old Testament days, the firstborn son received double the inheritance of the other sons because of the special pride and love his father had for him. As children adopted into the Kingdom of heaven, we are the pride and joy of a loving Father who wants to lavish on us far more than we could possibly deserve. This is our true inheritance. This is our wealth.
Our riches and our treasure await us in heaven, where we aren’t given only all that we need but we are lavished with far more than our hearts could ever even desire. And there is no price tag on this treasure. There is no guilt or shame in how we acquired it. It comes without regret or the sacrifice of our integrity. It is a perfect and pure inheritance. A shameless wealth from a Father who loves to give.
AND INSTEAD OF DISGRACE THEY WILL REJOICE IN THEIR INHERITANCE;
With this treasure comes celebration! We aren’t condemned to a quiet and humble reception but a loud and joyous celebration of all we have received! There is no scandal outlining our riches and there is no longer humiliation in poverty, only overwhelming and perfect gratitude in our eternal treasure, given to us as a gift and not earned of our own accord.
AND SO THEY WILL INHERIT A DOUBLE PORTION IN THEIR LAND, AND EVERLASTING JOY WILL BE THEIRS.
It is important that we approach the significance of the phrase “in their land”. Reading through the chapter originally, I thought that this was simply referencing the high value of land and that it would be a part of our inheritance, but I believe now that it is far bigger than that. God is saying that it is in our land that we will receive our inheritance. Our home. Our lives. We do not receive this lavish gift by masquerading as someone holier or using big words to impress our big God. No, this gift will come to us where we are. Exactly where we are. We needn’t be missionaries traveling to third-world countries to receive a kingdom inheritance, though God loves our missions. We don’t have to be members of a church that we attend every Sunday, although God loves to see us in community. No, Jesus meets us on our turf, the place where we are fully ourselves and fully vulnerable. Jesus didn’t set up shop in the temple and ask the blind, the lame, the poor, the sick to come to Him. He walked the streets and healed the homeless. He went to parties and forgave the drunk. He got in fishing boats and fed the fishermen. He touched the people who society condemned and He called them His own.
And He does this to us.
It is in our own land, the comfort of our own lives, that the Holy Spirit comes smashing through the front door and dumping out piles and piles of treasure. Prophecy. Healing. Prosperity. Love. Friendship. Justice. Dreams. Everlasting joy. Not the joy that fades as time ages it, but joy that expands and grows and is fresh every morning. That is our joy. That is the joy that we take hold of when we receive our inheritance through Christ.
As you move throughout your week, may you recognize your inheritance as it manifests in all its various ways. As you seek out your inheritance, may you come face to face with the everlasting joy that is yours through Jesus Christ.
In all every possible way, may you be blessed.