The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
God’s many promises and His faithfulness to keep those promises never stop amazing me. In just a matter of three verses in Isaiah, God promises that the Messiah is coming to preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release from darkness for the prisoners, comfort all who mourn, provide for those who grieve. He promises to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. And then, after all of that, He says that these people, who were once poor, broken, and captives, will now be called oaks of righteousness that display His splendor.
Can we all just let that sink in for a minute? These three verses are packed with promises from God that fill us with hope and joy and leave us completely in awe of the One who provides these.
Not only should these promises leave us thankful for our own freedom, but we should also be overwhelmed with the desire to declare these promises to those who remain poor and broken. We’ve all mourned before and we’ve all been held captive by our own sin, but we have been set free, and we must not forget just how much of a miracle this is.
Are we declaring God’s promises to those who don’t know Him? Are we living as oaks of righteousness and displaying His splendor, or are we living as if we have not been redeemed and have not been set free? God sent His only Son to preach good news to the poor and to release prisoners from the darkness. Receiving this freedom shouldn’t be enough for us – we should long to share God’s grace and love with others.
Take time today to thank God for the freedom He has given you and to ask Him for opportunities to share this wonderful, undeserved freedom with those around you who are still being held captive. Go forward in boldness and confidence because you have been called an oak of righteousness, and the Lord’s splendor is displayed in you.