August 12, 2017

Garments of Praise

Isaiah 61

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation. . . .

—  Isaiah 61:10

Much of Isaiah’s prophecy predicts the destruction of God’s people because of their sin. But the final section, beginning with chapter 60, calls on the people to wake up to their God-given glory so that they can display God’s splendor to others. The Spirit tells Isaiah to put the oil of joy on God’s people and give them a garment of praise.

How could such a turn of events be possible for God’s people who were exiles, miserable slaves in a foreign land? Look closely at today’s theme verse. God’s people can praise him because he has already clothed someone with salvation and a robe of righteousness.

In the New Testament Jesus reads from Isaiah 61 as he preaches for the first time in his hometown, Nazareth. Then he says, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21). The New Testament also states that by faith in Jesus we are clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27). And later we are challenged with these words: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

Let’s put on garments of praise today. Let’s wake up to the glory and goodness God has given us through salvation in Christ Jesus and live so that others may be drawn to him as their Lord and Savior.

Compassionate Lord Jesus, thank you for restoring us as your daughters and sons. May we joyfully praise your name and share your good news with others in response to your great love. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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