“For as the earth produces its growth, and as a garden enables what is sown to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.”
Isaiah 61:11 CSB
Our Lord’s way will prevail. It may not always be easy to see this. In fact, it may be much easier to see the exact opposite.
Two chapters before this verse everything seems bleak. Isaiah writes, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far off. For truth has stumbled in the public square, and honesty cannot enter. Truth is missing, and whoever turns from evil is plundered” (Isaiah 59:14-15).
And then, in the verses immediately following, the whole tone seems to change when our Lord decides to take action—“The LORD saw that there was no justice, and he was offended. He saw that there was no man—he was amazed that there was no one interceding; so his own arm brought salvation, and His own righteousness supported him” (Isaiah 59:15-16).
Our focal verse is the culmination of the next two chapters which contain verses that Jesus will later quote from in Luke, verses that Jesus will claim to fulfill (see Luke 4:16-21). So this entire section points to Jesus as the promised Messiah!
As we experience this season, let us consider that every lyric we sing which speaks of His birth-every reference to angels, glad tidings, joy, cattle, mangers, Mary and Joseph, indeed the word “Christmas” itself—testifies to how He has acted, and will to continue act, to bring about His salvation. And just like vegetation, wild or cultivated, will spring up when the earth is watered, so will He restore righteousness and praise.