7) STEP 7: The Man of War Shows Up & Shows Out
“And the day of vengeance of our God…” (v. 2)
While you’re somewhere shouting your Jubilee shout, Jesus (though in your midst), is also somewhere else (hopefully in front of you!) executing judgement on your enemies! Maybe He’s in the mood for a smooth, formal embarrassment…
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” (Psalm 23:5)
Or maybe He’s in all-out, Man of War style!
“The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; they sank to the bottom like a stone.” (Exodus 15:3-5)
Or maybe He’s like “Pshaw! Demons schnemons! Let the angels handle it!”
“So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)
However God decides to execute and perfect His justice, you can rest assure He doesn’t need your help (or your mouth, or your violence) to help Him do His job. I’m pretty sure His middle name is “Omnipotent” (Almighty). So just praise Him while He handles it! *smile*
Warning: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT gloat when God deals with your (earthly) enemies because if you do this, God may have pity on them and chastise you instead!
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.” (Proverbs 24:17, 18)
8) STEP 8: Freedom from Depression
“To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” (v. 2, 3)
Even after you’ve been liberated, had your vision restored, rejoiced (jabula), and watched God execute His vengeance on your enemies, sometimes you still get depressed.
Have you all seen that commercial for Abilify, the anti-depressant? Well it’s a prophetic demonstration of what dealing with depression is like. (And I know ‘cause I’ve been there!) It’s literally like that accursed blanket following you around, just waiting for you to let it alight (see Steps 3 & 5, rinse, repeat).
Well Jesus knew that darn blanket would be following you around, that’s why He has the anointing to deliver you and exchange it for a “garment of praise” instead of that horrid heaviness.
Allow The Comfort to do His job and comfort you. Allow Him to change your garments so you can be truly free!
9) STEP 9: God’s Promises Coming to Fruition
“That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (v. 3)
What a wonderful thing to be planted by the Lord! It means that not only have you been personally ordained for the place you are, but you are also blessed with the favour (sun) and provision (water) to cause you to excel in that particular place!
Now I’m not one who’s big on tree lore and meanings, but just glancing at Wikipedia and countless literary, etc. references, we know that “oaks,” the specific term used by the English Standard, Amplified, and other translations of the Bible, are revered throughout various mythologies for having magical properties and or being connected to their gods. Perhaps this is because of their notable strength and height. Some words used to describe these trees are “endurance,” “attractive,” “majestic,” “mystical” (British Druids), etc. It is said that even King Arthur’s legendary round table was made of oak (20-20 Site).
Now I use all of these pagan examples not to praise pagan beliefs, but because often times pagans–likely back to the dispersion of the peoples at the Tower of Babel–have taken what was once a shared idea and over time, geographic isolation, and linguistic isolation, have taken, enlarged, and even twisted godly truths to suit their own religious purposes. This background also provides you with a singular understanding of how most of the ancient peoples–including that of Israel–revered the oak and how God would understandably use this as an example of His divine favour on His people.
In the Scripture itself, trees are often used to describe prosperous peoples and kingdoms.
“These were the visions of my head while on my bed: I was looking, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong; its height reached to the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. Its leaves were lovely, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:10-12)
This is a dream God gave King Nebuchadnezzar and the tree here represents “Nebby” and the great Babylonian Empire. And just a couple lines later, we see his great branches “lopped” off which later manifests in the loss of his mind until he comes to himself and praises God as He Who rules in the Kingdom of men and bestows His favour to rule on whomsoever He will (Daniel 4-37).
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:12)
“For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” (Isaiah 65:22)
The Psalmist and the Prophet Isaiah both extolled the virtues of the righteous by casting it in the context of a flourishing tree–a righteous man and a righteous people or nation.
But more importantly, trees bear fruit. Not only has the Lord planted, but He has enabled you to bear fruit–be it flower, sap, or actual fruit–what you bear has come to fruition.
And how wonderful is God! That this, the ninth step or promise of Isaiah 61 deals with planting and the fruition thereof. Isaiah later declared this:
“‘Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?’ says your God.” (Isaiah 66:7-9)
Whether you were planted as a seedling or a sapling, you have been planted and you have given birth to your fruit! This is that miraculous place where the reaper overtakes the sower as prophesied by the prophet Amos!
“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.’” (Amos 9:13)
It’s time for divine acceleration! You better praise Him!