What Isaiah 61 Exposes About Today's Hostile Culture

In the Old Testament, when people felt utter despair, they would rip the fabric of their garments to outwardly show their deep sorrow.
In the Old Testament, when people felt utter despair, they would rip the fabric of their garments to outwardly show their deep sorrow. (Public Domain)

 In Isaiah 61, we see the garment of praise contrasted with a "spirit of despair." In the Old Testament, when people felt utter despair, they would rip the fabric of their garments to outwardly show their deep sorrow. Torn clothing was a sign of a broken spirit. When Jacob believed that his son Joseph was dead, "Jacob tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his waist and mourned for his son many days" (Gen. 37:34). Likewise, when David heard a report that his sons had been killed, "Then the king arose, tore his garments, and lay on the ground, while all of his servants who were standing nearby tore their garments" (2 Sam. 13:31).

Unlike our earthly garments, the garment of praise lasts for eternity.

Though this world still has trouble, we can throw away our torn and wretched garments of sorrow and replace them with God's beautiful garment of praise. When we lift our eyes toward heaven and praise the name of Jesus, He can remove the cloud of discouragement. He can fill us with unspeakable joy. He can change our desires, attitudes, relationships and perceptions. The garment of praise is the most important piece of clothing we will ever wear. When we begin wearing our praise garments regularly, we find it easier to shrug off the garments of discouragement, temptation and hopelessness.

Unlike our earthly garments, the garment of praise lasts for eternity. Our earthly garments show wear and stains; they are vulnerable to moths; they can be stolen by thieves. Our praise garments are permanent and eternal. Jesus warned us, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'" (Matt. 6:19-21).

Prayer: Father, where despair reigns in my life, help me to exchange my sorrow for the eternal garment of praise. Thank You for Your love and grace for me and the honor I have as Your child. You are holy and worthy of all praise. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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"For You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness" (Ps. 30:11).

This article originally appeared on Leading The Way.

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