The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Over-correction frequently results in one-car accidents. When a distracted driver suddenly senses the wheels of his vehicle have strayed off the pavement, the startled diver is tempted to yank the steering wheel too suddenly. The action avoids the ditch on the right side only to careen violently out of control into the left.
As conscientious students seeing Isaiah’s heaven-sent appeals for justice for the poor and temporal assistance to the marginalized,we may correctly sense our duty to be responsive to supply the physical needs—the daily bread for the hungry. The enemy of Christ would gleefully encourage us to “over-correct.” To invest so heavily in the temporal we lose sight of the eternal.
Isaiah 61 beautifully steers us back to a safe lane of travel toward the ultimate destination—we will neither ignore the physical needs nor allow that focus to distract us from Christ’s ultimate objective.
While continuing to dispense plastic bottles of water we will remember Jesus’ priority ministry graphically illustrated in John 4. Verse 28 notes that the lady left the well with living water not contained in clay or plastic or even in Jacob’s well.
Lopez Island, Washington State USA