Adult 1 Sunday School Class
Everlasting Covenant Sept. 25, 2016 Isaiah 61: 1-4; 8-11
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Theme: People make agreements they hope will last, but are too often broken, causing stress and dismay. Can anyone make an agreement that will not be broken? God promises an everlasting covenant, which can never be broken.
Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach the good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” The Book of Isaiah is filled with history, commentary on many subjects relating to Israel, and most importantly prophecy in confirming that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointing of the prophet denotes God bestowing a task and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He informs God’s Eternal Promise message to His people. He brings the “good tidings” or Gospel to the meek, or the poor, the abused, the underclass, and those without influence. Isaiah speaks under the spiritual anointing of God. He comes to free the captives (in Babylon at the time) or any oppressed people anywhere. He comes to comfort the hurting and those who are brokenhearted. God demonstrates His love for us by giving His son Jesus to pay the price for our sins. The acceptable year of the Lord, or the Year of Jubilee directed the Jews to set all slaves free (this occurred every 50 years, but history has no record of it occurring). The Day of Vengeance is the second coming of Jesus when God will judge those who have mistreated His children.
v.3-4 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 4. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” These verses show Isaiah prophecy that Judah will be taken captive to Babylon, their cities destroyed, but God will return them to their Judah and they will rebuild their temples and their cities. “Beauty for ashes” means the beauty of the cities will come from the ashes that will rebuild them. Many of our US cities are in disrepair, and a concerted effort, with faith in God, we could resuscitate them beyond their former glory.
v,8-9. “For I the LORD love judgement, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, 9. And their seed will be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD has blessed.” God loves justice, in that the strong cannot take advantage of the meek. Justice means free from bias. All Israelites will know God and praise Him for what He has done for them. Those who would abuse His people will face the wrath of God. The solution would be an everlasting covenant verses the things that displease God by His people. This covenant is by the grace of God, and given not because they deserved it. God’s plan did not end with their exile, but would continue after their return. He would continue to bless them and all nations would recognize them as His people.
v.10-11. “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 11, For 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 nations.” “Clothed with the garments of salvation”, the Israelite have something to be joyful about following many centuries of suffering. Here Isaiah’s prophecy imputed righteousness is the essential heart of the New Covenant. By that we mean, when they repented of their sins, and through their (our) faith that Christ shed His blood for the remission of their (our) sins, through God’s grace and mercy will lead to their (our) salvation. The sinner recognizes that he cannot gain salvation on his own through works, but must come to Christ by faith. It is then when God cover him with His own divine righteousness. What God wants is to use the Israelites as a model to all nations, and uses the garden metaphor that if His people are firmly planted in faith, they will sprout others who will follow their example.
REMEMBER: The significance of the Book of Isaiah is that it is a book of history, prophecy, and the cultural interactions of God’s people and those around them. With regards to prophecy, it foretells with great accuracy, centuries before, many events leading up to the birth of the Messiah, His ministry, His crucifixion, and the life thereafter.