The LORD's blessing will rest on Jerusalem

Isaiah 61:1-9   The writer proclaims 'the year of the LORD’s favour' - a time of blessing and rejoicing: “The LORD has put his Spirit in me, because the LORD has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken, to tell the captives they are free and to tell the prisoners they are released. He has sent me to announce the time when the LORD will show his kindness and the time when our God will punish evil people.”

In the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed these words from Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth when he began his ministry (see Luke 4:14-21). After reading from the scroll, Jesus announced, "While you heard these words just now, they were coming true!". (Luke 4:21)

Isaiah 61:10-11   The 'year of the LORD's favour' will be a time of great rejoicing – like a wedding feast. “The LORD makes me very happy; all that I am rejoices in my God. He has covered me with clothes of salvation and wrapped me with a coat of goodness, like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding, like a bride dressed in jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

In the New Testament, the author of the Book of Revelation describes God's renewed people (living in "the new Jerusalem") as "a bride dressed for her husband". (Revelation 21:2)

 

A Jewish Bride from Kibbutz Lavi (Eliel Joseph Schafler)

A Jewish Bride from Kibbutz Lavi   (Eliel Joseph Schafler)

 

Isaiah 62:1-12   Jerusalem will be given a new name. No longer will she be likened to a deserted wife. Instead, she will be called ‘Hephzibah’ (meaning ‘God is pleased with her’). The land will be called ‘Beulah’ (‘happily married’).

In the New Testament, God speaks to John in the Book of Revelation, and tells him that the holy city, Jerusalem, will not only have a new name ("the new Jerusalem"), but will be completely changed: "Look! I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:5).

John says, "I did not see a temple in the (new) city, because the Lord GOD Almighty and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) are the city's temple. The city does not need the sun or moon to shine on it, because the glory of God is it's light, and the Lamb is the city's lamp." (See Revelation 21:22-23 & The New Jerusalem)

 

The glory of God is it's light (Rev.21:23)

The glorious presence of God's Spirit will light up Jerusalem  (Revelation 21:23)

 

Isaiah 63-64   The LORD will be victorious over the surrounding nations. He will bless Israel.

Isaiah 65:1-16   But he will punish those who oppose God’s ways - those who offer sacrifices to idols or attempt to contact the dead.

Isaiah 65:17-25   God says he is going to change everything. “Look, I will make new heavens and a new earth, and people will not remember the past or think about those things. My people will be happy for ever because of the things I will make” (Isaiah 65:17-18)

 

The Crab Nebula from Hubble  (NASA-ESA)

"I will make new heavens and a new earth" (Isaiah 65:17)   (NASA-ESA)

 

"Wolves and lambs will eat together in peace. Lions will eat hay like oxen, and a snake on the ground will not hurt anyone. They will not hurt or destroy each other on all my holy mountain." (Isaiah 65:25)

Isaiah 66:1-24 The author closes with a warning of judgement for those who reject his ways, and a message of hope for the humble: “no one ever saw a country begin in one day, no one has ever heard of a new nation beginning in one moment.” (Isaiah 66:8)

Finally, God promises to send some of his renewed people to Tarshish (Tyre), Libya (North Africa), Lydia (central Anatolia), Tubal (eastern Anatolia) and Greece so that his glory may be proclaimed among all nations.

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