Trees of Righteousness
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord . . . 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 KJV
To those who feel poor or afflicted, bruised, crushed, or shattered; to those who’ve been led away physically or spiritually, to those who feel surrounded by darkness or groping in blindness: there is good news for you!
The Gospel is the glad tidings (good news), from Jesus Christ, that heals broken-hearts; it proclaims liberty to those captive to sin; it recovers sight to the spiritually blind; it opens the “prison” to those who are bound; and, it proclaims the year of the Lord, i.e., the year of favor (Isa. 49:8; 2 Cor. 6:2). Those who receive the “good news” shall be called trees of righteousness—“oaks of righteousness” the planting of the Lord.
The message of the Gospel declares that God has anointed you for favor (v.2). Favor (Charis, Greek word) is God’s acceptance of you and His kindness towards you. It is His grace operating in you; it is grace on the part of the giver (God); and, it is a divine influence on the heart of man (Prov. 21:1). Grace is the opposite of Law. The Law was given by Moses, but grace, truth, and favor came through Jesus Christ (John 1:16-17).
God’s favor is not dependent on your deservedness, but rather on His grace and mercy. “[The Lord] will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come” (Ps. 102:13). God has appointed, granted and provided blessings with your name written on them (text). These blessings await the righteous—those who receive the glad tidings. God calls these hearers: “trees of righteousness”—“oaks of righteousness” the planting of the Lord.
The oak tree is the mightiest of trees and symbolizes strength and courage. It is a perennial plant (present at all seasons). As a “tree of righteousness”, the blessings of God are present to you in all seasons and under all circumstances. This reputation of righteousness glories God!