I praise the LORD who created the heavens and the earth, who made us in His image, who gave us freedom - we are free to choose to do the right things (even choose to love people my flesh doesn't really care for - because God loved us first - it is different from pretending), giving us the new insight to see things differently through His words (can't see right with only our own eyes, we need the Holy Spirit), who clothes the naked, who releases the oppressed and the bound, who raises the downtrodden, who provides all our needs, who guides us on our path, who encourages us (yes, our God is an encourager!), and who restores hope and vigor to the weary, mending the broken reed, causing dying wick to flame.
Isaiah 61 (New International Version)
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. "For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed." I 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. For 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.
Jesus read this portion of Isaiah at church in Luke chapter 4.
17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
The New Testament is like a commentary for the Old Testament sometimes. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever so the NT is connected to the OT. I want my ears to hear what Jesus taught about the OT.
I sometimes get the feeling that people look down on the Old Testament. We modern Christians have a certain image of the Old Testament. The Bible is about our God who worked in the lives of Abraham, Elijah, Peter, Paul, etc... It is not about those people who walked with God.
So I read the Jewish prayer book with a fresh mind, using it as a way to understanding God more, and read it with my heart, and wrote my prayer based on it. That's what I wrote at the beginning of today's blog. If I didn't say so, no one can tell it is from the Jewish prayer book.
May it be about God and our Jesus, not about Jew or Gentiles...
"For we are one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians)