As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. — Isaiah 61:11
“Spring” is such a wonderful, lively word. During the season of the year called Spring, we see dramatic changes in our gardens or fields as new growth “springs” up and mere sprouts begin developing into bountiful, fruitful plants. It is a time of great expectations for the farmer and gardener — a time when optimism prevails as plans are made for an eventual harvest.
On our farm, planting the crops for the year involved several factors. Dad kept a watchful eye on the fields and the sky as the winter snows receded, the weather warmed, and the soil began to warm and dry out. He was cautious not to drive the tractors into the fields too early, because getting mired down in the soggy ground was a very real possibility. Pre-planting preparations included applying fertilizer, tilling the soil, removing big rocks, and “dragging” the field to smooth the furrows. It was a glad day when he finally felt the conditions were right to put in some seed! The planter was hooked up to the tractor, carefully chosen seeds were poured into the hoppers, and off Dad drove to the prepared acreage. If all went well, by evening vast expanses of land were ready to spring forth. Now it could rain!
Jesus also went to great lengths to provide the correct environment for His people to prosper and grow spiritually. He came to sow righteousness among mankind. He willingly left His heavenly home and lived among men, modeling forgiveness and compassion, and teaching us how to pray and how to live. His was a mission of good: preaching, binding up, comforting, proclaiming liberty, and giving beauty, the oil of joy, and the garment of praise. Thus, the Word of God was brought down to a level we could comprehend, using common circumstances to explain eternal concepts.
As we go about our daily lives, let us have a consciousness of Christ working through us by patterning after His righteousness, expressing His care and concern for the oppressed, and evidencing His attitudes of humility, kindness, and love. The lives that come in contact with ours should sense the presence of Jesus.
When we live in that manner, Christ’s righteousness will “spring forth,” and there will be an eventual abundant harvest!
Restoration, deliverance, and salvation to mankind are all proclaimed in this superb chapter where we see a panorama of the Messiah’s mission. Isaiah foretold that Christ was coming to usher in a New Covenant.
It was from this chapter of Isaiah that Jesus read in the early days of his earthly ministry (Luke 4:17-21). Just prior to that time He had been tempted for forty days in the wilderness, returning afterward to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit.” On this particular Sabbath He was in His hometown of Nazareth, and went to the synagogue as usual. He stood to read, and by Divine design, the Book of Isaiah was given to Him at this very portion of Scripture. After reading the first two verses, Jesus told them that the Scripture was fulfilled that day in their ears. Those who heard “bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.”
When Jesus read the first phrase in this chapter, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” it was a powerful indication of the Trinity. The Lord God referred to God the Father. Jesus was on earth reading the verse, which declared that the Holy Spirit was upon Him.
Christ’s purposes in leaving the courts of Heaven to come to this earth were several. As the Anointed One, He preached good tidings unto the meek, bound up the broken-hearted, and proclaimed liberty to the captives, as well as the acceptable year of the Lord. In addition, He comforted those who mourned, giving them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. These actions were directed toward those who were downtrodden (meek, captive, bound, and mourners) thus illustrating that God loves to give His good gifts to the poor in spirit. Through His death on the Cross, He empowered those who responded to His message to become trees of righteousness that God might be glorified through them.
God loves justice between men, and hates all injustice. He is displeased with oppression against His people, not only because it harms them, but also because it violates eternal equity. Ritual service to God does not atone for defiance of moral precepts.
The new plan for the people of God was that they would build up the former desolations, repair the waste cities, receive everlasting joy, and be rewarded double for their shame. The descendants of the righteous would be renowned, and acknowledged to be a blessed race. The prophet’s message was one of a wonderful hope for the faithful.
The phrase in verse 10, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,” was even more powerful in the original language. A more literal translation would be, “rejoicing I will rejoice.”(1) Hebrew writers often emphasized their points by repeated words. This verse spoke of inner joy coming out of the soul, and that joy was caused by God’s righteousness within.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV. The message of consolation: The Holy One of Israel comforting, redeeming and enriching
C. The provision for deliverance (future glory)
2. The glory of the kingdom
b. The ministry of the Messiah (61:1-11)
(1) The two advents of Messiah (61:1-3)
(2) The results of the second advent (61:4-11)
(a) The restoration of Israel (61:4-9)
(b) The gift of righteousness (61:10-11)
We are to be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, bringing glory to the Lord. Let us allow His righteousness to spring forth from our lives today!
1. KJV Bible Commentary, p. 856.