Isaiah 61: The
year of the Lord's favour
notes: Although scholars normally only consider there
to be four ‘Servant Songs' [see Contents in Introduction] the
fact that Jesus took the first two verses as his opening proclamation
in the synagogue in Nazareth [see Lk 4:18,19] and we consider
that he as well as Israel is represented as the Servant of the
Servant Songs, there is a case to be made for this to be the fifth
Servant Song revealing his ministry of proclamation AND of deliverance
[v.1,2] to bring joy and praise to his people [v.3a], to transform
them [v.3b,4]. The outworking of his work will be even bigger
in that it will result in people coming to be part of, and to
serve, the people of God [v.5] and provide for them while they
act as intermediaries to God for them [v.6]. He will thus bring
complete transformation to his people [v.7.8] and blessing for
future generations [v.9]. He concludes by rejoicing and praising
the Lord for what He has done [v.10,11].
Threefold proclamations of the anointed servant
Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
of the Lord's favour
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
His ‘replacement ministry'
for those who grieve in Zion –
to [ii] bestow
on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the [iii] oil
instead of mourning,
and [iv] a
garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
The outworking in his people
will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.
will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Foreigners will serve the people of God
will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
Provided for by the world, they will be their intermediaries to
you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Further ‘replacement' transformations
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
The Lord's nature that will do this
I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with
Their future generations will reveal the Lord
descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.'
The servant rejoices…
delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has [i]
with garments of salvation
in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her
…for he sees the Lord's outworking of all this
as the soil makes the young plant come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.