Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oaks of Righteousness

This won't be long but I wanted to share this thought. I was reading the Upper Room today - not the one that always used to sit on the back of my grandmother's toilet - but the one I receive, freely, everyday in my email inbox. It has the same words as the one on the back of the toilet, just in a more "in my face" fashion. I don't read it everyday, but I'm glad I did today.

The scripture selection was from Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD,that he may be glorified.

You can read the companion commentary to this online at http://www.upperroom.org/devotional/default.asp?month=6&day=7&year=2011 It is called "Beauty for Ashes".

As for my commentary on this verse, I'll say I found encouragement. I also found that I can be both things here. Isaiah is saying he has come to bring good news because there are people that are hurting or burdened or worn out that need to hear it. He also says he's doing this so they can have gladness instead of mourning, praise instead of a faint spirit. And the final outcome is, that because of their transformed spirit, they will be oaks of righteousness showing off the glory of God.

I've had lots of times when I needed an Isaiah to come to me and give me liberty and bind up my wounds. I'm so thankful for those in my life who inspire and encourage me. Who lift me up. Sometimes they are friends or family but lots of times it is a Christian artist on the radio or the words of an evangelist in a podcast. These people share what they have to glorify God and restore others.

I'm also reminded here that I'm called to be the "resource" for someone else. Because God has given me gladness instead of mourning and praise instead of a faint spirit, I am called to be an "oak of righteousness" for someone else to look upon and see God glorified. It is my anointing to bring the good news to others who are bound, imprisoned, or wounded. That I could be that to someone else in the same way others have been to me is inspiring - it is a call to action. My prayer - "Lord, let not a day go by that I don't share your good news and proclaim liberty to the captives." AMEN.