The Day of Divine Retribution: Isaiah 61:2b

  “And the day of divine retribution of our God.” (Isaiah 61:2b)               Isn’t it interesting that we find the language of divine retribution—God’s moral judgment against sin, in connection with the language of the “year of the Lord’s favor”?  How often we forget to remember that the two go hand in hand.  We… Read More

The Year of the Lord’s Favor: Isaiah 61:2a

    “To proclaim the year of Yahweh’s Favor…” (Isaiah 61:2a)               There are two promises in view with the words of this phrase.  The first is the concept of the Year of Jubilee that we discussed above.  This was the season when debts were forgiven and family lands were restored-the oppression of division… Read More

Liberation!: Isaiah 61:1f

“and to the ones imprisoned—liberation!” (Isaiah 61:1f)               This final clause in Isaiah 61:1 naturally follows the previous statement.  With the coming of the Messiah, the chains of bondage to sin are released, they are broken, and the prison cells of death have been opened wide.  Indeed, our Lord proclaimed just that message: “Truly,… Read More

Release to the Captives: Isaiah 61:1e

“To preach release to the captives…” Isaiah 61:1e               In the context of Isaiah’s ministry, this statement would have had a very specific promise, recognizing that at this point in history, the northern Kingdom of Israel has fallen and the people had been taken and scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire.  In addition, the southern… Read More

The Shattered Heart: Isaiah 61:1d

“He has sent me to bind the heart which has been shattered…” Isaiah 61:1d               When I read this part of the verse, my mind cannot help but to think back to the promise that was made by God earlier in Isaiah 35:4: “Say to those whose hearts are hasty; be strong and you… Read More

Good Tidings: Isaiah 61:1c

“to herald good tidings to the meek” Isaiah 61:1c               These words should immediately bring to mind the language of the angels in proclaiming the good news before the shepherds (Luke 2:10).  Indeed it was the role of the angels to proclaim the birth of the one who would bring such good news and… Read More

Because Yahweh has Anointed Me: Isaiah 61:1b

“Because Yahweh has anointed me…” Isaiah 61:1b   Oh, what an amazing statement this is in itself, that this Messiah is not one anointed by man, but by the covenantal God, Yahweh, himself!  How much more significant this becomes when you realize that this construction is only ever used three times in the Old Testament. … Read More

The Spirit of the Lord Most High: Isaiah 61:1a

This passage is one that is very familiar to us because of Jesus’ use of it during his first sermon back in his hometown of Nazareth.  Notice the unambiguous nature of this statement—“the Spirit of the Lord Most High, Yahweh, is upon me.   To begin with, when x;Wr (ruach), which can mean “spirit” or “wind”,… Read More