Summary: CHRISTMAS 2(C) - Believers delight greatly in the Lord because they are clothed with garments of salvation and can also share God’s crown of glory.
DELIGHT GREATLY IN THE LORD
ISAIAH 61:10---62:3 JANUARY 5, 2003
10I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
621 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
2The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Christmas is over. That’s the kind of attitude the world wants us to feel. All of the specials in the stores have been packed up and put away if they haven’t been sold out. School starts again. It seems as if the world says, ‘and now we’ve got Christmas packed away. We can wait another year before we have to take it out of the storage places.’ When we look at our lives, we realize that Christmas is never over. In fact, as believers, Christmas is just beginning. It is during this time of year we can sit back and reflect on that role of the Lord’s light that He bestows on us through His Son at Christmas. We can remind ourselves of the blessings that you and I have received because of the birth of our Savior. Peter describes it in his letter when he says: "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls"(1 PETER 1:8,9). Peter wrote this thousands of years after Isaiah. If you listen closely, you hear the same thing Isaiah said. He says: 10I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. He, too, realizes that he has received the goal of his faith—the salvation of his soul. That joy in Isaiah’s words we will use as our theme this morning.
DELIGHT GREATLY IN THE LORD
I. We are clothed with garments of salvation
II. We are able to share this crown of glory
I. We are clothes with garments of salvation
Isaiah was a prophet sent by God. His main prophecy was a pronouncement of judgement against God’s people for their disobedience. Yet when it came to these times, when he had the opportunity to announce God’s great gospel news to them, he became excited, quite joyous for the fact that they still were held in God’s hands even though they had disobeyed Him time and again. He still cared for them. Isaiah said, ‘I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God.’ Isaiah was filled with joy and excitement and it flows over into the next chapter as we see. He tells why…because he realizes the Lord has pardoned his sins also. ‘For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.’ Very often the prophets weren’t dressed very well. They often wore sackcloth and ashes to show their sinfulness. Jeremiah, the prophet after Isaiah, would do that quite often. Now, Isaiah says, those clothes are taken away. He’s already got a garment of salvation, a robe of righteousness.
In order that the people might better understand that, he uses a common comparison that stands for them to better understand it and for us today. Isaiah writes, ‘He has…”arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.“’ The people thought of the time of the wedding, a time of great celebration, a time of rejoicing. The same goes for today. The bridegroom and the bride—can anyone picture two happier people than on the day of their wedding? That’s what Isaiah says; it’s just like that. It’s like the great joy and expectation on the day of the wedding for the bride and bridegroom. He says, ‘So the Lord has clothed me with these garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness!’
Isaiah realized also, like every believer, it wasn’t because he deserved it. It wasn’t because he had earned it. It wasn’t even because he went out of his way to find salvation, but because the Lord found him and provided him with salvation. He uses another comparison for us. 11For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, (speaking to those who would plant—you can’t grow anything unless you have soil and water. The ground and soil makes the seed grow. It is the Lord who really does it.) Isaiah goes on to say that: so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. All nations would end up seeing the righteousness and praise of the Lord.