Liberty

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Isaiah 61:1–7

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. (v. 1)

Many a preacher is expert at diagnosing the sicknesses of our world. Unfortunately, not as many are able to prescribe the remedy. Although Isaiah has described and condemned Israel’s sins in unsparing language, he faithfully gives the remedy for the misery that is a consequence of sin. It takes somebody bigger than you and I to do the job. We know that the One who fulfilled this prophecy was our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the encouraging aspects of this chapter is that our human condition is pictured as one of captivity from which we can be freed. Chains bind us, but they can be broken. Sin has made us filthy, but we can be cleansed. We are dead, but we can be born again. Parents who are raising children in the Lord especially need to remember this. Their children may tell a lie, but they should not be called “liars.” Sin does not brand us forever. God can give us “beauty for ashes.” New people in a “new heaven and new earth” is the assured hope of the Bible.

It is our privilege to announce this good news to all people. Thank God it is still his Holy Spirit who does the anointing, who gives the power to proclaim liberty. Let us pray for his outpouring in the midst of our church today. (originally published June 18, 1967)

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for your work in bringing about the new birth in my life. I pray for all those who do not yet know you. Amen.