In our last visit we reflected on the ministry Isaiah predicted Jesus would have when He came to this earth. It’s always good to remember that even in the day of the vengeance of God Christ’s message was good news, freedom, release and comfort. In the midst of our sins’ bitter consequences, as well as dire conditions that might come upon us unwittingly, Jesus offers hope.
If sin is the problem, confession is called for. Then trust in God’s forgiving and restoring grace. If calamity comes unexpectedly, we need to trust God to work it together for good. Either way, God is shaping us through the experience to become mature and strong, capable of ministering in an authentic way to others going through similar circumstances.
I especially like Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 61:3: “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isn’t that a special image – oaks of righteousness? Oak trees grow slow but they grow to be strong. There is a special sense of beauty and security in the image of an oak tree.
As I get older I sometimes think of how people will remember me. Wouldn’t it be great to be remembered as an oak of righteousness? But notice, Isaiah says the oak is “a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
In other words, even though I might think it would be great to be remembered as an oak of righteousness, that shouldn’t be my focus. We need to remember that God has planted us to be oaks of righteousness to display His splendor. That is the goal we should always keep in mind – the display of His splendor.