Wednesday, October 5
Isaiah 61:1-11 NASB
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations;
And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks,
And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.
But you will be called the priests of the LORD;
You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.
You will eat the wealth of nations,
And in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame you will have a double portion,
And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion.
Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land,
Everlasting joy will be theirs.
For I, the LORD, love justice,
I hate robbery in the burnt offering;
And I will faithfully give them their recompense
And make an everlasting covenant with them.
Then their offspring will be known among the nations,
And their descendants in the midst of the peoples.
All who see them will recognize them
Because they are the offspring whom the LORD has blessed.
I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.
Isaiah 29:17-21 NRSV
Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
become a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant shall be no more,
and the scoffer shall cease to be;
all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—
those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.
To describe the state of those who are right within he uses a word that is crammed full of meaning—“Blessed.” The word is makarios, a word which Aristotle used for divine blessedness in contrast with human happiness. The ordinary word for human happiness was eudamonia, but he passed that by as weak. Since we are to partake of the perfection that God has, so we are to partake of the joy that is divine. The first note of Buddha’s teaching is Suffering; the first note that Jesus strikes is Joy. But this happiness is not dependent on happenings. Its sources are within. “Blessed are.” So this note of joy is not a jazz note-cheap, easy and surface. It sounds the depths before it reaches the heights.
E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Mount.