Praise for Israel‘s Great Ministry
What is Israel‘s great ministry?
Isaiah 61:1-4 describes the prophet’s mission to the postexilic community (the suggested date for this passage is 538 B.C. after the return of the first band of exiles to Jerusalem). Their captivity had not yet ended (61:1). They were afflicted, brokenhearted, imprisoned, mournful, and faint-hearted (61:1-3).
In addition, their land was in ruins (61:4). The prophet declared that he had been empowered by God for his specific mission. (61:1). According to Luke 4:16-21, Jesus saw in the description of the prophet’s mission a portrayal of His own. This Scripture was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus.
Practical Consideration: Believers have a responsibility to minister to desperate people.
God commissioned and empowered His servant to minister to people in difficult and desperate circumstances. Jesus set the best example of ministry to others. Believers today are to follow the example of Jesus in ministering to others who are experiencing difficulties. We have a responsibility to minister to others in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ strength, and with Jesus’ love.
Isaiah 61:5-9 describes the mission of God’s people in a restored Zion. They are to be priests and ministers of the Lord (61:6). They will be able to fully devote themselves to this role because foreigners will tend to their (God’s people) fields and flocks (61:5) and sustain them (God’s people) with their wealth (61:6). Israel, like a first-born son (Deuteronomy 21:17), will enjoy a double portion of the Lord’s inheritance (61:7). Both they and their descendants will be recognized by the nations as people whom God has blessed (61:8-9). These promises caused Zion to respond with a hymn of thanksgiving (61:10-11).