The time of His favor

Scripture reading for July 31st: Isaiah 49-51

“This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “(Isaiah 49:8-9)

These next chapters of Isaiah tell of the “servant” of the Lord that will come to bring the promised comfort, salvation, and deliverance to God’s people.  God’s Word is very clear about the plans of the Lord to bring a deliverer.  Isaiah has already said that “Immanuel” would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)  In Isaiah 9:5-6 He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of peace!  His government would be without end!  In Isaiah 49:5-6 God tells  how He will form this servant in the womb.  This servant will bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel.  Then God says that He will also make this servant a light for the Gentiles and bring His salvation to the ends of the earth!  The story is so plain now in light of the life of Jesus Christ and all the prophecies that He fulfilled and the mission of His church!

God has a “time of favor” when His salvation is available to all who will avail themselves of it!   This time began when Jesus Christ announced His mission with a quote from Isaiah in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)  Notice how similar this quote is to our text for today’s devotion!   Jesus Christ announced His ministry of preaching, healing and deliverance to those in His home town of Nazareth.  They did not receive the message with the joy that was expected, however.  Those in the synagogue became furious and tried to throw Jesus off the brow of a steep cliff!  Not everyone responds to a “time of favor”.

In fact, the “time of favor” referred to the year of Jubilee during which every Israelite would have his inheritance restored!  If they had lost property through neglect or illness or bad business dealings, the property was to be restored and the inheritance was to be put back together.  It would be a joyous time of healing and restoration on the 50th years!  (Leviticus 25:8-13)  Jesus Christ was stating that He was their ‘Jubilee’!

Today we live in the “time of His favor” with promise of healing and restoration!  Be sure to thank the Lord for what He has done in Jesus Christ!  Share this good news with someone who needs favor today!

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