“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” Isaiah 61:1-4
Who does He proclaim good news to? Not the rich. Not the famous. Not the Who’s-Who. He brings this good exciting news to the desperate, the needy–the poor.
He takes the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He pronounces freedom to those held captive. He releases prisoners trapped in darkness.
He turns mourning and grieving into comfort and joy.
He makes a crown of beauty out of ashes.
He takes a spirit clothed in despair and replaces it with a lovely wardrobe of praise.
We serve a God who doesn’t just build-He rebuilds. He doesn’t just store-He restores. He doesn’t just make and use new things-He renews all things. He renews ruined things, devastated things, things that have been devastated for generations.
Our God loves to use messy people. The Bible is full of messed up people who God used in powerful ways. If you think the Bible is all about perfect people, you are reading the wrong Bible.
I am so so thankful for that. We tend to think of Christians as “goodie goodies.” We put them on pedestals. We think that they have it all together. Neat, nice, put together people. It’s not true. Christians are all just sinners saved by grace.
Here are a few examples in the Bible of some messed up people God chose to use in powerful ways. God used Moses-a murderer. God used Jacob-a manipulator. God used David-an adulterer and murder. God used Paul-He murdered Christians before he got saved. God put the prostitute Rahab in Jesus’ birth linage. The list goes on and on.
God doesn’t call it like it is. He calls it like it could be. He calls us like how He knows we could be.
Romans 4:17 says, “According to what is written: ‘I have appointed you a father to the multitude of the nations, before God, in whom you believed, who gives life to the dead, and he calls those who are not as though they are.’”
If we surrender our lives to Him, yes, all of our lives–our brokenness, our messiness, our sin, If we give it all to Him, He will come into our lives and rebuild, restore, and renew.
Then He will call us oaks of righteousness—a planting of the Lord—a display of His splendor.
Now that is some really good news!
Check out this wonderful song if you have a chance!
By Rend Collective Experiment