God’s Saving Word: Joy
Isaiah 61:1–11: Today’s reading is the second in a series of three prophecies. It begins with a call to preach the good news, and the message includes words of comfort and consolation. A time of prosperity and everlasting joy is promised.
The Good News of Deliverance
61 The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit.
He has chosen me and sent me
To bring good news to the poor,
To heal the broken-hearted,
To announce release to captives
And freedom to those in prison.
2 He has sent me to proclaim
That the time has come
When the Lord will save his people
And defeat their enemies.
He has sent me to comfort all who mourn,
3 To give to those who mourn in Zion
Joy and gladness instead of grief,
A song of praise instead of sorrow.
They will be like trees
That the Lord himself has planted.
They will all do what is right,
And God will be praised for what he has done.
4 They will rebuild cities that have long been in ruins.
5 My people, foreigners will serve you.
They will take care of your flocks
And farm your land and tend your vineyards.
6 And you will be known as the priests of the Lord,
The servants of our God.
You will enjoy the wealth of the nations
And be proud that it is yours.
7 Your shame and disgrace are ended.
You will live in your own land,
And your wealth will be doubled;
Your joy will last forever.
8 The Lord says,
“I love justice and I hate oppression and crime.
I will faithfully reward my people
And make an eternal covenant with them.
9 They will be famous among the nations;
Everyone who sees them will know
That they are a people whom I have blessed.”
10 Jerusalem rejoices because of what the Lord has done.
She is like a bride dressed for her wedding.
God has clothed her with salvation and victory.
11 As surely as seeds sprout and grow,
The Sovereign Lord will save his people,
And all the nations will praise him.
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 61:11
As surely as seeds sprout and grow, The Sovereign LORD will save his people; And all the nations will praise him.
Reread verses 1 and 2. Verse 1 describes the prophet as one who has been chosen and sent. Another word for “chosen” used in other translations is “anointed.” The prophet has been given a divine commission. What is the mission? What is the good news? Jesus quotes these verses in his inaugural sermon at the beginning of his public ministry (Luke 4:18–19). What good news can you proclaim today?
Sovereign Lord, fill me with your Spirit and empower me to proclaim the good news of your love and salvation. Fill my heart with the joy and gladness that comes from you. Amen.
Isaiah 62:1–12: The prophet speaks words of encouragement.