I came across the neatest word picture in Isaiah 61.
The message of the chapter goes out to the poor, brokenhearted, captives, prisoners, mourners and grievers.
The message is one of hope and encouragement. Here are a few of the promises for the poor, brokenhearted, captives, prisoners, mourners and grievers. They will be given:
- a crown of beauty instead of ashes
- a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair
- restoration of places long devastated
- everlasting joy.
Sometimes as a person, mom and wife we go through stages of being poor and brokenhearted. We are held captive and prisoner by feelings of insecurity, emotions like fear, and states of mind. We mourn and grieve circumstances and things that happen to us and our loved ones. It doesn’t have to be face value of the word taken literally.
But the promise is that we will be called oaks of righteousness because we have been planted by the Lord to display his splendor.
John Calvin comments on this verse:
“There is no other way in which we are restored to life than when we are planted by the Lord.”
There is great comfort deeper in this verse. It is not just a promise for an individual, but it is also a picture the life change brought on by salvation. Often Jesus finds us at the end of our rope and reaches out to the ones for whom this chapter is written. At salvation, we are planted by the Lord and through His work in us we are strong, like oak trees, and our lives bring Him glory.
Salvation restores us to the Lord and all the promises given are really things we enjoy as Christians.
R.C. Sproul notes that this is an “image of permanence, of life in God forever”. He also describes it this way:
“If we trust in Christ, we are planted in righteousness forever, and well be preserved by His hand for the sake of His eternal glory.”
The beauty of this is that although this promise can be applied to the life of a Christian as a whole, it can also be applied to individual times within the Christian life. We can cling to this promise each time we are brokenhearted and poor in spirit, imprisoned and held captive by our thoughts, feelings and emotions, or are mourning and grieving life circumstances.
Praise God for his grace and mercy provided for the turbulent times in life.
Take the time to read the whole chapter…there is so much more hope waiting for you!