The Year of the LORD's Favour
Lien of OZ
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to 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." (Isa 61:1-3 AKJV)
From this passage we note that the Gospel or Good News is to be preached to the
- The poor
- The broken hearted
- To captives
- To prisoners
- To those who mourn
- Those enduring despair
These are they who ---- will be called oaks or trees of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.
On the surface this is hardly GOOD NEWS and it does not make a lot of sense when those who are broken hearted, captive, in prison, grieving or mourning or enduring despair are to be called trees or oaks of righteousness.
Sometimes it is difficult indeed to comprehend the message of the Gospel of salvation.
Least of all why should we ever bother to apprehend it ???
Take as one or two examples.
John the Baptist in Matthew 11 we learn he was the greatest ever born of women….
Yet we who are even the least in the Kingdom of Heaven are greater even than he….. John the Baptist.
And when John was in gaol about to be beheaded by Herod what did Jesus do??? just sent him a message confirming much of what we read here today from Isa 61:1-3. PLUS
Mat 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Paul we note spent a good deal of his life in prison or at best under house arrest..
Someone has suggest that this was to keep him safe from further ship wreck and perpetual beatings and at least get some rest so that he could write all the letters we now find in the new testament.
He wrote 2Co 8-10 Contemporary version…..
8 My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain. 9In fact, we felt sure that we were going to die. But this made us stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting God, who raises the dead to life. 10God saved us from the threat of death, [a] and we are sure that he will do it again and again.
In our everyday lives STUFF HAPPENS…..How we respond to events/ situations/ trials/ circumstances and tests etc etc determine how we overcome……
Psalms 139 The LORD Is Always Near
1You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me. 2You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. 3 You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. 4Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, 5and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. 6 I can't understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me. 7 Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight?
God rarely answers the question……. Why did this happen to ME?
He also knows that all too often why …..soon turns into whine!!
Oh! no!! we are not at the wedding in Cana …….
Not the red liquid stuff ---the juice of the grape …..but whine -- whinge ---bellyache--- gripe
Have you ever found that just as you put on your best stockings there’s a huge ladder.
And speaking of ladders I find that as I get older the steps on the ladder seem further apart.
And on the TV the other day I learned that falling off ladders was much more dangerous than being caught by a crocodile…..
When you put the clothes in the washing machine;. press the start button and it gives a strange noise and stops altogether…….
Then your daughter rings up to tell you that your grandson has left home….or someone in the family has met with an accident……..
Then there’s the other side of the family ……they are the ones who visit only when they want something….
Then the next day you learn that one of your best friends has spread an unforgivable rumour about you……
You go to hang out the washing and its raining…..
You manage to catch the bus to the station but the train time-table has been changed……..
You’re in Safeway but your shopping list is still on the table back home…..
TELSTRA promised to call on Tuesday and its Friday already….
You have a appointment and making good time but the road works delay you or there’s an accident and you have to detour BUT where do you pick up the right road again……
Then you hear a strange B doomp B doomp P doomp coming from the truck passing your car BUT THEN your wife tells you that the B doomp is not from the truck but that the rear wheel of our car has punctured …….
You visit the Doctor only to learn that he gives you a very negative health report….
And so the list goes on……….
1Co 10:13 No testing or temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
The Message (MSG)
13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.
Just for one moment ask yourself this …..Did Jesus like everything about God’s design (His own Father) for the hardships he experienced in his life
Was Jesus ever a victim of circumstances or did everything in his life have a purpose or a destiny?????
What about our own lives……
In Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.
27All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God's people. 28We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. [a] They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,
Footnotes: Rom 8:28 God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him: Or " All things work for the good of everyone who loves God" or " God's Spirit always works for the good of everyone who loves God."
Not all things are good But work together for your good to strengthen you to guide you and ti help you overcome
Phi 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
In the King James be careful for nothing Care full or full of care and worry
Have you ever noticed that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair lots of activity but you are going nowhere…….
How we face everyday issues and situations trusting in God and having hope in Jesus is what develops into character and integrity and though someone might besmirch our reputation our integrity and character remains intact.