SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
60:1 “Arise! Shine! For your light arrives!
The splendor of the Lord shines on you!
2 For, look, darkness covers the earth
and deep darkness covers the nations,
but the Lord shines on you;
his splendor appears over you.
3 Nations come to your light,
kings to your bright light.
4 Look all around you!
They all gather and come to you—
your sons come from far away,
and your daughters are escorted by guardians.
5 Then you will look and smile,
you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride.
For the riches of distant lands will belong to you,
and the wealth of nations will come to you.
6 Camel caravans will cover your roads,
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
All the merchants of Sheba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing praises to the Lord.
7 All the sheep of Kedar will be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth will be available to you as sacrifices.
They will go up on my altar acceptably,
and I will bestow honor on my majestic temple.
8 Who are these who float along like a cloud,
who fly like doves to their shelters?
9 Indeed, the coastlands look eagerly for me;
the large ships are in the lead,
bringing your sons from far away,
along with their silver and gold,
to honor the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, for he has bestowed honor on you.
10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls;
their kings will serve you.
Even though I struck you down in my anger,
I will restore my favor and have compassion on you.
11 Your gates will remain open at all times;
they will not be shut during the day or at night
so that the wealth of nations may be delivered,
with their kings leading the way.
12 Indeed, nations or kingdoms that do not serve you will perish;
such nations will definitely be destroyed.
13 The splendor of Lebanon will come to you,
its evergreens, firs, and cypresses together,
to beautify my palace;
I will bestow honor on my throne room.
14 The children of your oppressors will come bowing to you;
all who treated you with disrespect will bow down at your feet.
They will call you, ‘The City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’
15 You were once abandoned
and despised, with no one passing through,
but I will make you a permanent source of pride
and joy to coming generations.
16 You will drink the milk of nations;
you will nurse at the breasts of kings.
Then you will recognize that I, the Lord, am your Deliverer,
your Protector, the Powerful One of Jacob.
17 Instead of bronze, I will bring you gold;
instead of iron, I will bring you silver;
instead of wood, I will bring you bronze;
instead of stones, I will bring you iron.
I will make prosperity your overseer,
and vindication your sovereign ruler.
18 Sounds of violence will no longer be heard in your land,
or the sounds of destruction and devastation within your borders.
You will name your walls, ‘Deliverance’
and your gates, ‘Praise.’
19 The sun will no longer supply light for you by day,
nor will the moon’s brightness shine on you;
the Lord will be your permanent source of light—
the splendor of your God will shine upon you.
20 Your sun will no longer set;
your moon will not disappear;
the Lord will be your permanent source of light;
your time of sorrow will be over.
21 All your people will be godly;
they will possess the land permanently.
I will plant them like a shoot;
they will be the product of my labor,
through whom I reveal my splendor.
22 The least of you will multiply into a thousand;
the smallest of you will become a large nation.
When the right time comes, I the Lord will quickly do this!”
61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has chosen me.
He has commissioned me to encourage the poor,
to help the brokenhearted,
to decree the release of captives
and the freeing of prisoners,
2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor,
the day when our God will seek vengeance,
to console all who mourn,
3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion
by giving them a turban, instead of ashes,
oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning,
a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the perpetual ruins
and restore the places that were desolate;
they will reestablish the ruined cities,
the places that have been desolate since ancient times.
5 “Foreigners will take care of your sheep;
foreigners will work in your fields and vineyards.
6 You will be called, ‘the Lord’s priests,
servants of our God.’
You will enjoy the wealth of nations
and boast about the riches you receive from them.
7 Instead of shame, you will get a double portion;
instead of humiliation, they will rejoice over the land they receive.
Yes, they will possess a double portion in their land
and experience lasting joy.
8 For I, the Lord, love justice
and hate robbery and sin.
I will repay them because of my faithfulness;
I will make a permanent covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations,
their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will recognize that
the Lord has blessed them.”
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
I will be overjoyed because of my God.
For he clothes me in garments of deliverance;
he puts on me a robe symbolizing vindication.
I look like a bridegroom when he wears a turban as a priest would;
I look like a bride when she puts on her jewelry.
11 For just as the ground produces its crops
and a garden yields its produce,
so the Sovereign Lord will cause deliverance to grow
and give his people reason to praise him in the sight of all the nations.
62:1 For the sake of Zion I will not be silent;
for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines brightly
and her deliverance burns like a torch.
2 Nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your splendor.
You will be called by a new name
that the Lord himself will give you.
3 You will be a majestic crown in the hand of the Lord,
a royal turban in the hand of your God.
4 You will no longer be called, “Abandoned,”
and your land will no longer be called “Desolate.”
Indeed, you will be called “My Delight is in Her”
and your land “Married.”
For the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married to him.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
so your sons will marry you.
As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride,
so your God will rejoice over you.
6 I post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they should keep praying all day and all night.
You who pray to the Lord, don’t be silent!
7 Don’t allow him to rest until he reestablishes Jerusalem,
until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
8 The Lord swears an oath by his right hand,
by his strong arm:
“I will never again give your grain
to your enemies as food,
and foreigners will not drink your wine,
which you worked hard to produce.
9 “But those who harvest the grain will eat it,
and will praise the Lord.
Those who pick the grapes will drink the wine
in the courts of my holy sanctuary.”
10 Come through! Come through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people!
Build it—build the roadway!
Remove the stones.
Lift a signal flag for the nations.
11 Look, the Lord announces to the entire earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘Look, your deliverer comes!
Look, his reward is with him,
and his reward goes before him!’”
12 They will be called, “The Holy People,
the Ones Protected by the Lord.”
You will be called, “Sought After,
City Not Abandoned.”