SIXTY ONE : TEN
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.
I DELIGHT GREATLY IN THE LORD; MY SOUL REJOICES IN MY GOD. FOR HE HAS CLOTHED ME WITH GARMENTS OF SALVATION AND ARRAYED ME IN A ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
The joy that the Lord brings is an inside and out joy. See, it starts on the inside as we celebrate the blessings of our transformative God. Our very soul, every little crevice of our being delights in the Father. But why? This is not an empty praise or worship, rather, this is a celebration of the rich blessings poured out onto us—the outside joy. He has clothed us with salvation. Remember in the story of the fall, Adam and Eve’s very first realization once they had invited sin into their lives was their nakedness. Nakedness transitions from a very normal aspect of creation to an exposure to be shameful about! And they make little coverings out of leaves when God comes along, lest He see them in their nakedness. And what is God’s first response to them inviting sin into the world? To clothe their bodies. To cover their shame. And this is the very first prophetic act of God. This is His promise: to find us in our shame and remove it from us, to clothe us in our nakedness and our sinfulness with His perfect garments of salvation.
But it gets even better! A garment is a type of full coverage underwear and God says, “You know what? My precious kids deserve better than just salvation, better than just the measly garments that are enough to get by. My kids are royalty, and they deserve utter righteousness, morality, holiness, and justification. Lavish robes adorning them, set atop their salvation in order to declare no, I am not just saved, I am set apart.”
AS A BRIDEGROOM ADORNS HIS HEAD LIKE A PRIEST, AND AS A BRIDE ADORNS HERSELF WITH HER JEWELS.
But God doesn’t stop with royal robes! No, our God is a God who loves wildly and lavishly and He doesn’t just want us to be saved and He doesn’t just want us to be righteous. He wants us to be ready for a wedding. A party. A celebration! Not a backyard wedding. A massive, enormous, royal wedding with no holds barred, no corners cut, nothing but the best for the ones that He loves. Once we are saved and covered in garments, we have enough to get into the Kingdom of God. And then we receive royal robes of righteousness, setting us apart from those who are unsaved and getting us a place in the presence of our Father. And then, God begins to drown us in jewels and precious stones and extravagant head wear, staking His claim over us as His beloved. Because our God has it all and He wants to share it with us.
As promised in verse nine, God adorns us with a physical representation of His blessings for us so that when people look on, they are shocked by the blessings of Father God. And they desire Him and pursue Him and say “Whoever it is giving these people such unequalled blessing, I want to know Him.”
Here we stand, clothed and decorated from head to toe with Christ’s royal wardrobe. And we have never looked better.
Salvation and righteousness are wrapped around you in the name of God. This week, may you be tangibly aware of your covering as you overcome shame and feelings of inadequacy. As Christ lavishes robes and precious jewels upon you, may you have the courage to tell others of where your blessings came from as they begin to wonder.
As you go about your week, may you be wrapped in all the blessings of heaven.